Leptospirosis cases double in Bacolod City, 16 deaths recorded

Leptospirosis cases double in Bacolod City, 16 deaths recorded

Leptospirosis cases in Bacolod City increased by 100 percent from January to the middle of December this year compared to the same period in 2022 amid continuing exposure to risk factors especially in highly-populated villages.

Records of the City Health Office (CHO) on Wednesday showed 88 cases, including 16 deaths, were listed since the start of the year, up from only 44 cases in the previous year.

The latest fatality, which was recorded earlier this month, was a 38-year-old construction worker.

Dr. Grace Tan, head of CHO Environment Sanitation Division, said that delayed health-seeking behavior and denial of leptospirosis infection are still the most common reasons for complications and death.

“Between 70 and 80 percent of cases have exposure or contact with contaminated water or ground,” Tan said, noting that the last patient who succumbed to the illness was exposed to sewerage work.

Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection caused by the leptospira spirochetes bacteria. It is contracted from exposure to water or soil contaminated by the urine of infected animals, especially rats, through cuts, wounds, abrasions, or any break in the skin.

Barangays 14, Banago and Pahanocoy have two deaths each while one each were reported in Barangays 6, 23, Taculing, Handumanan, Villamonte, Bata, Granada, Singcang-Airport, Tangub, and Alijis.

In its advisory, the CHO encouraged the public to take leptospirosis prophylaxis as soon as possible following exposure, wading or contact with water, ground or food possibly contaminated with leptospira in rat or animal urine, or consult immediately the nearest health center or private physician for prescription.

It added that sanitation inspectors should closely coordinate with the city government to address floods, sewerage siphoning, and garbage management. (PNA)

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