THE Philippine Red Cross (PRC) yesterday reminded the public against the risk of leptospirosis as typhoon Fabian hits the country this week and leaves many areas flooded.
Sen. Richard J. Gordon, PRC chairman and CEO, pointed out that amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, leptospirosis poses another disaster.
“Hygiene and sanitation could not be overemphasized in the face of this disaster. This is why we are taking the next steps to secure the people from leptospirosis,” he said.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection transmitted by rodents and other vermin, most often rats. Animal waste such as urine and feces may contain leptospira spirochetes bacteria which contaminate the soil, water, and vegetation.
Symptoms of the disease include fever, muscle pain, and headache. In some cases, calf-muscle pain and reddish eyes are the symptoms.
Severe cases can result in liver or kidney failure, with the brain being affected. Noticeable signs can be yellowish body discoloration, dark-colored urine and light stools, low urine output, and severe headache.
Gordon said PRC staff and volunteers are reaching out to health institutions, communities, health workers, and local individuals to check if any of these signs and symptoms are present among households.
PRC reminds the public of the preventive measures against leptospirosis:
• Avoid swimming or wading in potentially contaminated water or flood water
• Use boots and gloves, or any proper protection available when exposed to flood
• Drain potentially contaminated water
• Control rodents in the household by using traps or poison
• Maintain cleanliness in the house