In an effort to control the bacterial disease, leptospirosis, Olongapo City health officials have begun a campaign to eliminate rats–by paying the public cash for dead rats.
According to an AFP report via Gulf News, Olongapo city residents are being paid 10 pesos (23 US cents) for each adult rat captured and killed, and five pesos for juveniles, city health administrator Jaime Alcano said.
However, the “Catch a Rat” campaign, which started one week ago, has only garnered 44 rats. Alcano says, “The success of our campaign does not rest solely on the number of rats captured. This is just part of our awareness campaign against the disease.”
Although Olongapo mayor Rolen Paulino said there are no known precedents to this campaign, in 2009, a Valenzuela City councilor proposed a “Catch the Rat ordinance” to pay people for killed or captured rodents.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects humans and animals. It is caused by bacteria of the genus Leptospira.
The bacteria that cause leptospirosis are spread through the urine of infected animals, which can get into water or soil and can survive there for weeks to months.
In humans, it can cause a wide range of symptoms, some of which may be mistaken for other diseases. Some infected persons, however, may have no symptoms at all.
Without treatment, Leptospirosis can lead to kidney damage, meningitis (inflammation of the membrane around the brain and spinal cord), liver failure, respiratory distress, and even death. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page