Leptospirosis kills 11 in Western Visayas

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Leptospirosis, a bacterial infection spread by animals, claimed 11 lives in Western Visayas as of July 6, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

The victims were part of the 98 cases of leptospirosis recorded since January 1 this year, said DOH Region 6 epidemiologist Dr. Glen Alonsabe.

In the same period last year, DOH-6 recorded a total of 248 cases with 35 deaths.

Alonsabe said leptospirosis should be included in the ongoing cleanup drive against dengue targeting stagnant water where dengue mosquitoes breed.

The health official also advised farmers to take chemoprophylaxis as preventive measure against leptospirosis and wear protective foot gear while in the field.

The World Health Organization said the leptospira bacteria enter the body through cuts or abrasions on the skin, or through the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose and eyes.

Patients experience high fever, severe headache, muscle pain, chills, redness of the eyes, abdominal pain, jaundice, hemorrhages in the skin and mucous membranes, vomiting, diarrhea, and rash in the early stages of the disease.