By: Emme Rose Santiagudo
ONE in every 10 leptospirosis patient in Western Visayas dies, according to the Department of Health-Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD)-6.
Josef Alexander Denila, senior health program officer of DOH-CHD-6, reported in a press conference on Monday that leptospirosis has already killed 16 persons in the region.
From January 1, 2019 to August 10, 2019, the health department also recorded 151 leptospirosis cases.
“Negros Occidental has the highest recorded cases at 54 with six deaths; followed by Iloilo province with 44 cases and two deaths; Bacolod City with 14 cases and two deaths; Iloilo City with 12 cases and one death; Antique with 10 cases and one death; Capiz with nine cases and three deaths; Guimaras with six cases and one death; and two cases outside but admitted in the region,” Denila reported.
While the cases were 54 percent lower compared to 325 cases and 40 deaths recorded last year, Denila warned that the public should not be complacent as the disease is potentially fatal.
“Halin sang una, dako ang case fatality rate sang leptospirosis. Once magka-lepto ka dako gid chance nga mapatay ka,” he said.
According to Denila, most of the recorded cases were farmers who were heavily exposed to contaminated rice fields.
He added that they are still expecting the cases to surge, especially during harvest season.
“Most of the cases are farmers. Ang naga panggarab, dako ang chances mapilas siya sang humay and maka-enter ang virus. Gina-expect namon mataas during harvest time,” Denila furthered.
To prevent the increase of cases, Denila cautioned the farmers to take doxycycline or prophylaxis.
“Ang ginaubra namon usually advise nga mag-inom sila doxycycline kag prophylaxis antes manguma,” he said.
The medicines are free in the nearest health centers.