By: Emme Rose Santiagudo
FROM January 1 to June 22, 2019, the Iloilo City Health Office (CHO) recorded five cases of leptospirosis with one death.
While the number is 70.6 lower compared to the 17 cases with four deaths recorded in the same period last year, City Health Officer Dr. Bernard Caspe warned that the public should not be complacent especially with the start of the rainy season.
Caspe urged the public, especially those with open wounds, to refrain from wading in flood waters as they can be infected by leptospirosis.
“I am urging the public, mga estudyante nga wala kabalo nga may open wound sila nga indi gid maglusaw sa baha kay once contaminated ang waters then definitely masulod sa imo lawas ang leptospirosis,” Caspe warned.
Caspe said that the disease can be treated immediately if the patient seeks early consultation.
He added that they are now giving out free doxycycline and amoxicillin to flood-prone areas particularly in Arevalo, Jaro, and Mandurriao.
Doxycycline and amoxicillin are prophylaxis or medicines that will prevent leptospirosis.
“In fact, kon rainy season na gapagwa na amon office sang mga bulong and ginahatag sa pumuluyo nga galusong sa baha, wala na kami gahulat nga mangayo pa sila,” Caspe said.
Residents who waded in flood waters with open wounds can ask for doxycycline and amoxicillin from all district health centers in Iloilo City for free.
Leptospirosis is usually caused by leptospira bacteria which can be acquired from the urine of rats and can enter through open wounds, Caspe explained.
Aside from leptospirosis, Caspe also warned the public of possible water-borne and food-borne diseases that can be acquired especially with the start of the rainy season.
“This rainy season please be wary of the diseases nga possible makuha such as respiratory tract infection, flu, diarrhea, dengue, and leptospirosis. Sa aton pumuluyo, please dala gid kamo sang payong, raincoats, hats and avoid gid mag-submerge sa flood waters,” he said.