THE Department of Health (DOH)-6 said it has taken actions for the prevention and control of leptospirosis cases in Western Visayas.
Dr. Sophia Pulmones, DOH-6 Local Health Support Division Chief, said they have intensified surveillance in all provinces and cities in the region and distributed information and education materials and advisories to health offices in the region.
“We have preventive measures, we have treatment and we have information dissemination, wherein we give correct information to the general public particularly to the high-risk groups,” she said.
Pulmones added that among those who are highly vulnerable to the infection are farmers, those who are in close contact with domestic animals, and those exposed to potentially contaminated water.
Based on the data from the DOH-6 Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit, a total of 239 cases of leptospirosis were recorded from January 1 to June 23, 2018, which is 22 percent higher than the 196 cases recorded in the same period last year.
The province of Negros Occidental recorded the most number of cases with 85; followed by Iloilo province with 59; Capiz, 34; Guimaras, 27; Iloilo City, 16; Bacolod City, 13; Aklan, 3; and one from Antique.
Leptospirosis, an infectious disease caused by Leptospira bacteria, can lead to potentially fatal infections of the kidney, liver, brain, lung or heart.
According to DOH-6, humans become infected through wounds when in contact with flood waters, vegetation or moist soil contaminated with urine of infected animals like rodents (rats and mice). (PIA-Iloilo)