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Leptospirosis Outbreak

Posted Oct 27 2009 11:00pm

Now it’s not only in Metro Manila. A lot of people have been hospitalized in the province due to Leptospirosis. Especially those that were badly hit by Ondoy and Pepeng. During the wrath of this two typhoon everyone is focused on saving properties and lives that they have ignored the possibility of getting sick through flood waters. But what choice do you have at that moment, right? Flood water kept rising up, if you don’t move then you’ll get trap for days in your home with a short supply of potable water and food.

So now as an aftermath a lot of people are in the hospital because of this disease. But what really is LEPTOSPIROSIS?

According to my research and this website:

Leptospirosis is an infectious disease caused by a particular type of bacteria called a spirochete. Leptospirosis can be transmitted by many animals such as rats, skunks, opossums, raccoons, foxes, and other vermin. It is transmitted though contact with infected soil or water. The soil or water is contaminated with the waste products of an infected animal. People contract the disease by either ingesting contaminated food or water or by broken skin and mucous membrane (eyes, nose, sinuses, mouth) contact with the contaminated water or soil.

Here in the Philippines, the common cause of this disease is the urine from rats.

And here are the things to watch for :

Symptoms of Leptospirosis:

Leptospirosis symptoms begin from two to 25 days after initial direct exposure to the urine or tissue of an infected animal. This can even occur via contaminated soil or water. Veterinarians, pet shop owners, sewage workers, and farm employees are at particularly high risk. People participating in outdoor sporting activities like canoeing, rafting, hiking, and camping can also come into contact with contaminated water or soil.

The illness typically progresses through two phases:

* The first phase of nonspecific flulike symptoms includes headaches, muscle aches, eye pain with bright lights, followed by chills and fever. Watering and redness of the eyes occurs and symptoms seem to improve by the fifth to ninth day.

* The second phase begins after a few days of feeling well. The initial symptoms recur with fever and aching with stiffness of the neck. Some patients develop serious inflammation of the nerves to the eyes, brain, spinal column (meningitis), or other nerves. Right upper area abdominal pain may occur. Less common symptoms relate to disease of the liver, lungs, kidneys, and heart.

Leptospirosis associated with liver and kidney disease is called Weil’s syndrome and is characterized by yellowing of the eyes (jaundice). Patients with Weil’s syndrome can also develop kidney disease and have more serious involvement of the organs affected.

For more information about this disease, please visit the following helpful sites :

- MedicineNet.com
- Leptospirosis Information Center

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