Date: Mon 26 Aug 2019, 12:00 pm
Source: Republic of the Philippines, Philippine News Agency [edited]
The Department of Health (DOH) in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) urged residents to take precautionary measures as the number of leptospirosis cases in the region has reached 75, with 12 recorded deaths. DOH Calabarzon regional director Eduardo C. Janairo also directed local health officials and local leaders to take the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of leptospirosis and the current dengue outbreak in the communities due to the rainy season. "Leptospirosis just like dengue is fatal but also preventable. All we need is to clean our surroundings, be sure that our garbage is well-attended and improve flood control measures in the community," Janairo said in his meeting with officials of the province of Cavite on [Fri 23 Aug 2019].
He also reminded parents of children to avoid playing outside their homes during rainy days to reduce risk of leptospirosis related to flooding. "If we have no business to go outside our homes, it is best to stay inside and be safe," he added. The DOH Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU) showed a total of 75 leptospirosis cases recorded in the region from [1 Jan to17 Aug] this year . This, however, is 62% lower compared with last year's  199 recorded cases during the same period.
The infectious disease caused by leptospira bacteria from urine of rats has already claimed 12 lives in the region, with Rizal province having the highest number of cases at 34 with 7 deaths. Cavite has recorded 18 cases and 2 deaths; Laguna with 14 cases and 1 death; Batangas - 9 cases and 2 deaths, while Quezon has no reported cases. The cities and towns in the region with high incidence are Antipolo City with 15 recorded cases; Rodriguez - 9 cases and San Mateo - 6 cases in Rizal province while Binan City in Laguna and DasmariÃ±as City in Cavite reported 5 leptospirosis cases each. The ages of cases ranged from less than 1 year to 72 years old.
Majority of the cases were male and most of belonged to the 11-20 year-old age group. Janairo advised those who walk through or wade into flooded areas and streets to wear boots as the bacteria causing the disease may seep in through open wounds or scratches on feet and thighs. "Kailangan din nating uminom ng prophylaxis gaya ng docycyline bago tayo lumusong sa tubig upang makaiwas sa impeksyon na dala ngleptospirosis (it is necessary to take prophylaxis like doxycycline before wading through flood areas to prevent leptospirosis infection)," he said. According to the DOH, the leptospirosis disease is transmitted through skin abrasions while walking in moist soil, rice fields, and sugar cane plantations contaminated with the urine of an infected animal, like rats.
Other areas that may likely be contaminated with the disease are swimming pools, floodwaters, accidental immersion, occupational abrasion or direct contact with urine or even tissues of infected animals. Janairo also urged residents to go to the nearest health centre or hospital for any symptoms such as fever; body chills; headache and pains in the thigh, muscles and joints; redness in the eyes; skin turning pale and yellowish; and difficulty in urinating. [Byline: Saul Pa-a]
[Leptospirosis is an infection transmitted to humans by exposure to soil or fresh water contaminated with the urine of wild and domestic animals (including dogs, cattle, swine, and especially rodents) that are chronically infected with pathogenic _Leptospira_. The spirochete _Leptospira_ may survive in contaminated fresh water or moist soil for weeks to months. Outbreaks of leptospirosis frequently follow heavy rainfall, flooding with fresh water, and increasing rodent numbers.
Calabarzon, with a population of about 14.4 million residents in 2015, is a region situated south and east of Metro Manila that comprises 5 provinces: Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon, and a highly urbanized city, Lucena. It is also the country's 2nd most densely populated after Metro Manila (<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calabarzon
A map of Calabarzon can be found at
A map showing the provinces of Calabarzon can be found at
>. - ProMED Mod.ML]
[HealthMap/ProMED map available at: Philippines: