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Bacolod logs 15 deaths, 118% rise in leptospirosis cases

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• GILBERT P. BAYORAN

Cases of leptospirosis in highly urbanized Bacolod City increased by 118.4 percent from January 1 to November 18 this year, compared to the same period in 2022, a report of the City Health Office (CHO) showed.

In the same period, the CHO also logged 15 deaths, compared to nine last year.

Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection caused by the leptospira spirochetes bacteria contracted through the urine of infected animals, especially rats.

Exposure to flood waters can cause infection, especially to those with cuts, wounds, or abrasions on their skin.

In a report, Dr. Grace Tan, head of the CHO Environment Sanitation Division, attributed the majority of cases to exposure or contact with contaminated water or the ground.

The delayed health-seeking behavior and denial of infection are the most common reasons for complications and death due to leptospirosis, CHO report further said.

In its advisory, the CHO encouraged both adults and children to take leptospirosis prophylaxis as soon as possible, following exposure or wading or contact with possibly contaminated water or ground, and consult immediately with the nearest health center or private medical doctor.

“Keep the environment clean at all times. Uncovered and unstored food keeps rats alive and garbage is their best breeding ground. Segregate and manage garbage appropriately,” it also said.

The CHO also reminded city residents to avoid wading or coming in contact with flood water or any damp, dirty ground, soil, or water as these may have leptospira organisms.*

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