One of the most common diseases that we should be aware of this rainy season is LEPTOSPIROSIS. Leptospirosis is a rare and severe bacterial infection that occurs when people are exposed to certain environments
Leptospirosis is caused by exposure to several types of the Leptospira bacteria, which can be found in fresh water that has been contaminated by animal urine. It occurs in countries with warmer climates like the Philippines. Although it is not spread from person to person, there are very rare cases when it is transmitted through breast milk or from a mother to her unborn child.
Due to the constant flooding that occurs in our country every rainy season, more and more people are reportedly being infected with this.
The most common symptoms of Leptospirosis are the following:
• Dry cough
• Muscle pain
• Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
• Shaking chills
There could be other symptoms like:
• Abdominal pain
• Abnormal lung sounds
• Bone pain
• Enlarged lymph glands
• Enlarged spleen or liver
• Joint aches
• Muscle rigidity
• Muscle tenderness
• Skin rash
• Sore throat
The following are the Risk Factors for Leptospirosis:
• Occupational exposure -- farmers, ranchers, slaughterhouse workers, trappers, veterinarians, loggers, sewer workers, rice field workers, and military personnel
• Recreational activities -- fresh water swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and trail biking in warm areas
• Household exposure -- pet dogs, domesticated livestock, rainwater catchment systems, and infected rodent
Normally, if a person is diagnosed with Leptospirosis his or her blood is tested for antibodies to the bacteria. As per doctor's orders tests like CBC or Complete Blood Count, Creatine kinase, Liver enzymes and Urinalysis can be done as well.
You may consult your physician to get the exact medication that you should have. Antibiotics can be used to treat the infection especially if the disease was diagnosed early.
In order to prevent Leptospirosis everyone is encouraged:
• to avoid swimming or wading in waters that might be contaminated with animal urine and
• to drain potentially contaminated water when possible.
• Those who are exposed to contaminated water or soil because of their job or any other activities are advised to wear protective clothings and footwear.
• Those who have open wounds are advised to have more care.
• Control rats in the household by using rat traps or rat poison, maintaining cleanliness in the house.
Your health is your wealth. Sabi nga sa TV, prevention is better than cure.
For more information, you may check the Department of Health website.