THE Davao City Health Office (CHO) is asking residents of flood-affected areas to take caution in stepping on floodwaters to prevent getting leptospirosis.

"I urge that the people should be careful (flood victims), especially those with open wound and scars. Please ask for a prophylaxis medicine for preventive measures," City Health Officer Doctor Josephine Villafuerte said in an interview on Monday, January 8.

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that when not treated can lead to kidney damage, meningitis (inflammation of the membrane around the brain and spinal cord), liver failure, respiratory distress, and even death.

Villafuerte said they have monitored 10 leptospirosis cases from flood-affected areas last January 6, particularly in Jade Valley and Tigatto areas.

"Some of them were admitted at Southern Philippine Medical Center (SPMC) but some have already gone home," she said, adding that around three patients were still at the hospital.

"When we took the history of those who got admitted, we learned that some were not able to take medicine because they went to their cornfield. Some were given but did not take the medicine. Some were not able to take because they did not seek consultation in the evacuation center," Villafuerte said.

She said that in Jade Valley, workers from CHO are visiting house to house to give prophylaxis medicines to those who have returned to their houses.

There is enough in stock, she said.

Even their workers who went to the flooded areas have taken the medicine.

Villafuerte said the symptoms of leptospirosis include fever, redness of the eye and body pains.

She said they are monitoring for possible leptospirosis this week since the appearance of symptoms of leptospirosis occur after two weeks.

"We are still conduct monitoring. As of last week, we already monitored the cases some cases so we distribute prophylaxis medicines in a fast pace. Everyday our workers still make rounds," she said.

At present, a portion of Jade Valley remains flooded afterthe Davao River overflowed its banks because of rainfall from Tropical Storm Vinta last December 22.