QC records drop in leptospirosis cases but reminds citizens to stay vigilant

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The Quezon City government recorded a whopping 83 percent drop in its leptospirosis cases this year but continues to remind its citizens to remain wary and take precautions against the disease.

Based on the City Health Department (CHD) report, 58 leptospirosis cases, with three deaths, were recorded in Quezon City from January 1 to November 21. This was lower than the 345 cases recorded during the same period last year.

In a statement on Thursday, Dr. Rolando Cruz, City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CESU) head, said the drop was due to the aggressive prevention and urgent attention given to those affected by recent typhoons and flooding.

“We immediately gave antibiotics such as doxycycline to our responders and citizens who were exposed to contaminated floodwaters. Thankfully we were able to control the disease so far, and we hope to maintain this until the end of the year,” said Cruz.

Mayor Joy Belmonte called the drop in leptospirosis cases a welcome development but reminded the citizens to remain wary of the deadly disease.

“We advise our citizens to wear protective gears like boots when they cannot avoid wading through floodwaters, and to cooperate with the city during preemptive evacuation so they won’t get infected and risk their lives in the flood,” Belmonte said.

Leptospirosis is an infection caused by leptospira spirochetes bacteria that spread through infected animals’ urine or feces, especially rats.

It can be contracted by swallowing contaminated food or water, or when the bacteria enters the body through the mouth, nose, and eyes, or open wounds and cuts.

Cruz advises residents exposed to flooding to immediately contact the City Health Department or the nearest barangay health center if they experience any leptospirosis symptoms.

Symptoms of leptospirosis include high fever, chills, muscle pain, redness of the eye, headache, vomiting, diarrhea, and yellowish skin or jaundice. If left untreated, it may even cause kidney failure, massive internal bleeding, and death.

“Leptospirosis is preventable and can be treated. Our advice to residents is to be alert for any symptoms and to seek early consultation,” Cruz stressed. Miggy Dumlao, trainee