Editorial : Flooding and leptospirosis

TIWH the onset of the rainy season and the flooding in some parts of the city, there is reason to be wary of an outbreak of leptospirosis cases which has already hit Metro Manila, Zamboanga City and some areas in the Visayas.

In a radio interview last week, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said that more than 1,000 Filipinos have been infected with this an animal-borne bacterial disease. Already, 22 villages in Metro Manila are declared under leptospirosis outbreak which means the number of those infected has gone beyond the average number in the last five years.
The leptospirosis bacteria can spread through urine of infected animals, which can get into water or soil and can survive there for weeks to months, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention which is based in the USA. Many different kinds of wild and domestic animals carry the bacteria including rodents, dogs, horses and pigs. The sad thing is, infected animals do not have symptoms of the disease.
Department of Health data showed that from Jan. 1 to Jul. 8, 2018, 485 cases have been reported in Metro Manila alone, with 65 reportedly dying from the disease. The case fatality rate for Metro Manila is 13.13%.
Duque said the DOH is closely monitoring the leptospirosis cases in the country and that the government is prepared to deal with the increasing cases in the country. He has assuaged fears that this will blow out of proportion as the rainy season brings with it flooding in many parts of the country.
Untended garbage contributes to this deadly nightmare.
Along the highway to Toril, we can see piles of garbage at the roadside which attracts rodents and pests that can harm the health of people in the community. Even then, leptospirosis infection does not seem to gather steam as we have not heard of any information drive conducted in the barangays.
Leptospirosis is more than a health concern. It can kill.

Posted in Opinion