MANILA, Philippines – Health Secretary Francisco Duque III formally declared Thursday (July 5) an outbreak of leptospirosis in several barangays in Metro Manila.
These barangays are Barangays Bagbag (3 cases); Silangan (5 cases); Batasan Hills (9 cases); Commonwealth (7 cases); Novaliches Proper (4 cases); Payatas (5 cases); Pinyahan (3 cases); and Vasra (4 cases) in Quezon City; Lower Bicutan (5 cases); Maharlika Village (3 cases); Signal Village (4 cases); and Western Bicutan (4 cases) in Taguig City; Barangay Pinagbuhatan (4 cases) in Pasig City; BF Homes (3 cases) and San Dionisio (3 cases) in Paranaque City; Barangay North Bay Blvd. South (3 cases) in Navotas City; Barangay Addition Hills (3 cases) in Mandaluyong City; and barangay Concepcion (3 cases) in Malabon City.
DOH said there was a significant increase in the number of leptospirosis cases in the said areas with 105 cases in just one month from June 10 to July 3, 2018. This is way higher than 76 cases during the same period last year.
The agency added that the figure this year surpassed the combined number of cases from 2013 to 2017 by 38 percent.
“It has breached what is known as the epidemic threshold. Epidemic threshold means that the average incidence or number of cases over the last five years has been exceeded by the number of cases that we have reported,” Duque explained.
DOH explained that while the public’s common knowledge of leptospirosis is that which acquired from wading through floodwater, there are other means that the leptospira bacteria may penetrate the body other than an open wound.
“Ang leptospirosis is not only transmitted through rats. Pwede siya sa dogs, sa farm, sa mga cattle. Kung nag-aalaga ka ng baboy, pwede ring sa baboy makuha mo ang lepto. Hindi rin kailangan na although very common iyong sa flood water but pwede rin kahit wala sa flood at meron diyan infected na animal, umihi at binungkal mo iyong lupa pwedeng iyong aerosole noon na may infection pwede kang magkasakit ng Lepto.,” warned Dr. Ferchito Avelino, Director 4 of DOH’s Epidemiology Bureau.
To date, leptospirosis cases in the National Capital Region (NCR) has soared to 368 and 52 recorded deaths.
DOH advised immediate medical consultation for individuals showing symptoms of leptospirosis infection such as fever, muscle pain, redness of the eyes, yellowing of the skin, urine discoloration, cough, vomiting and diarrhea, — Aiko Miguel / Marje Pelayo