DEEP FLOODS. Commuters wade through deep floodwaters caused by non-stop heavy rains along Alabang-Zapote Road in Las Piñas City Thursday (July 22, 2021) evening. The Department of Health noted a 13-percent increase in leptospirosis cases this year compared to the same period in 2020. (PNA photo by Avito C. Dalan) 

MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday noted a 13-percent increase in leptospirosis cases this year compared to the same period in 2020.

In an online media briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said there are 589 leptospirosis cases reported from January 1 to June 19 this year.

"This is 13 percent higher compared to the 520 reported leptospirosis cases of the same time period in 2020,” Vergeire said.

Meantime, the case fatality rate for the same period is 11.4 percent which is 1.6 percent higher than in 2020 at 9.8 percent.

“The highest leptospirosis incidence rate was noted in the CAR (Cordillera Administrative Region), followed by Region 6 at 1.34 and Region 2 at 1.33 per 100,000 population,” Vergeire said.

With the rainy season, Vergeire reminded the public not to wade through floodwaters to avoid leptospirosis, a bacterial infection which can cause heart, liver and kidney failure in severe cases.

“Ang sakit na leptospirosis ay maaari nating makuha kung tayo ay may mga galos, cuts sa skin o may sugat sa paa at kapag tayo ay lumusong maaari po tayong ma-infect nitong leptospirosis (We can get leptospirosis if we have cuts on the skin or wounds on our feet and we can get infected when we walk through the flood),” she said.

If wading through floodwaters cannot be avoided, Vergeire urged the public to wear protective gear such as boots and to wash the feet thoroughly with soap and clean water afterwards.

“Linisin ang kapaligiran, nakukuha ang leptospirosis dahil sa ihi ng mga hayop na napupunta sa mga gutter ng tubig kaya itapon nang maigi ang mga basura (Clean your surroundings, leptospirosis comes from animal urine collected in water gutters so dispose your garbage properly),” she added. (PNA)