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Bacolod City, Philippines Wednesday, August 1, 2012
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Don't wade in flooded waters – DOH

MANILA -- Health authorities warned the public against the danger of leptospirosis, now reported to have reached 2,002 cases nationwide from Jan. 1 to July 7, 2012.

Dr. Eric Tayag, assistant secretary and spokesman of the Dept. of Health, cautioned in particular those people who have fever and waded in flooded areas for the past three to seven days to seek medical attention for possible leptospirosis infection.

"Those people need to take prescribed antibiotic to prevent the progression of the infection, Tayag said.

He was referring to those who recently waded in flood waters; have had high fever for two to three days; fever was accompanied by body pains, chills, headaches, and red eyes (like sore eyes); jaundice (yellowing of the skin); decreased levels of urination; and urine was tea-colored (a dark amber color).

Tayag has yet to give the full details of the latest report on leptospirosis.

Tayag said the public should consider flooded waters contaminated or danger of catching leptospirosis infection considering that garbage is everywhere, dead animals or existence of rats.

Accordingly, leptospirosis is an infection caused by direct exposure to bacteria found in animal urine and feces.

Patients can get infected when they swallow flood water or when bacteria enter the body through open wounds, eyes, nose, or breaks in the skin.

As a precaution, the DOH reiterated calls the public should avoid flooded areas and to refrain from coming in contact with flood water, to wear protective clothing like pants, rubber boots, gloves or rubber jumpsuits, maintain their home clean and getting rid of rats.

"Those who wade through floods should protect the skin from bacteria by washing with soap and water the parts of the body that have come into contact with flood water, Tayag said.*PNA 



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