Leptospirosis cases surge ahead of El Niño threat

File photo
File photo

AHEAD of the expected start of El Niño next month, the Department of Health (DOH) reported on Friday, May 26, 2023, that the number of leptospirosis cases is already close to doubling compared to last year.

Based on the latest Disease Surveillance Report, the DOH said there are already 1,279 leptospirosis cases reported from January 1 to April 29.

This is 91 percent higher than the 669 leptospirosis cases recorded during the same period last year.

Having the highest number of leptospirosis cases were Western Visayas (243), Cagayan Valley (184), Davao Region (109) and Central Visayas (100).

Seeing the highest jump in cases were Zamboanga Peninsula (900 percent, nine to 90), Mimaropa (683 percent, six to 47), and Calabarzon (233 percent, 18 to 60).

The number of deaths caused by leptospirosis also went up to 130 this year from 98 last year.

The case fatality rate in 2023, however, was lower at 10.16 percent compared to 14.65 percent in 2022.

Davao Region saw the highest number of leptospirosis deaths at 22, followed by Western Visayas with 21.

Leptospirosis is an illness that is transmitted through mud or flood water contaminated by the urine of infected animals, usually rats.

Its symptoms include fever, muscle pain, headache, reddish eyes, yellowish body discoloration, dark-colored urine, light stools and low urine output.

The DOH earlier said the El Niño may also cause a spike in leptospirosis cases in the country.

This as El Niño is known as causing irregular and intense climate changes, including increased rainfall and flooding. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)


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