By: Gail Momblan
ILOILO CITY — The Iloilo City Health Office (CHO) reiterated its call on Saturday for the public to avoid wading through floodwaters especially with the onset of the rainy season to prevent contracting leptospirosis.
Dr. Bernard Caspe, city health officer, said Iloilo City has already recorded five cases of leptospirosis with one death based on their monitoring from January 1 to June 22.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection caused by leptospira spirochetes bacteria that is spread through the urine of infected animals, especially rats.
The illness can surface this rainy season and Ilonggos are always reminded to use protective gear if they cannot avoid wading through possibly contaminated water, Caspe said.
“I am urging the public, to the students who wade through contaminated waters and are not aware that they have open wounds. Definitely, they can be infected with leptospirosis,” Caspe said in an interview.
Although the January 1 to June 22 data this year of the CHO is 70.6 percent lower compared to 17 cases with four deaths recorded during the same period last year, Caspe said the public should not be complacent.
Leptospirosis symptoms include high fever, muscle pain, redness of the eye, chills, severe headache, vomiting, diarrhea, and yellowish skin discoloration.
When a person suspects of having been infected with the disease, Caspe advised them to immediately seek medical attention.
The CHO is now distributing free doxycycline and amoxicillin to flood-prone areas particularly in the districts of Arevalo, Jaro, and Mandurriao.
Aside from leptospirosis, the public is also warned against other diseases this rainy season.
“Please be wary of the diseases you can possibly catch such as respiratory tract infection, flu, diarrhea, and dengue. Always bring with you protective gear like umbrellas, raincoats, and hats” he said. (PNA)