What is leptospirosis and how can you be protected from it?

With the rainy season here for a couple of weeks now and with the Department of Health identifying some Paranaque barangays as hotspots for the dreaded Leptospirosis, we deem it necessary to inform everyone about this infectious disease and enumerate ways on how to prevent you from being a victim of this disease.

What is leptospirosis?

Leptospirosis is a disease spread by animal urine. One can get infected when they come in contact with body fluids of infected animals or with water, soil, or food contaminated with infected urine.

Leptospirosis Graphic by draxe.com

COMMON SYMPTOMS:

Symptoms include fever, headache, chills, muscle aches, vomiting, jaundice (yellow eyes and skin), red eyes, stomach pain, diarrhea, and rarely, a rash. However, some people do not exhibit symptoms.

This disease can be deadly and in the more severe cases can cause kidney or liver failure, meningitis (swelling of the tissue covering the brain), or bleeding in the lungs.

Leptospirosis can be treated with antibiotics, which are most effective when given early during illness.

Leptospirosis Graphic by draxe.com

How to prevent getting leptospirosis

Avoid contact with water or soil that may be contaminated with animal urine (rats, most especially).

Don’t wade, swim in, or swallow floodwaters or water from lakes, rivers, or swamps.

Treat water to make it safe to drink by boiling or using an appropriate chemical treatment, especially if it has been collected from a source that could be exposed to urine from animals or contaminated by floodwater runoff.

Cover any cuts or abrasions and wear protective clothing, especially footwear, if you must wade in floodwaters or other water that might be contaminated.

Bring someone you think is inflicted with leptospirosis to the hospital asap.

 

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