NewsDesk @bactiman63

Authorities of the Ministry of Public Health (MSP) reported the epidemiological situation on leptospirosis, an endemic disease in Ecuador. Until March 12, 2023, 54 cases have been registered.

Francisco Pérez, National Undersecretary of Surveillance, reported that the epidemiological surveillance report, permanent in the country, warned that Guayas is the province with the greatest increase in cases, 31 people infected. Followed by Manabí with 9 and Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas with 5 cases, of which 1 person died.

In addition, he pointed out that the cases usually occur in the winter season in places with little environmental sanitation, with drinking water problems and floods. The increase in zoonotic diseases -passing from animals to humans- transmitted by water and food compared to the cases registered in 2022, shows an unusual pattern this year.

Leptospirosis is a disease caused by spirochetal bacteria of the genus Leptospira. These bacteria can survive from weeks to months in urine-contaminated water and soil. It can present with a wide variety of clinical manifestations, from a mild form to a serious and sometimes fatal disease. It could cause Weil’s syndrome characterized by jaundice, renal failure, hemorrhage, and myocarditis with arrhythmias.

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Its symptoms may resemble various illnesses, such as influenza, dengue fever, and other bleeding diseases of viral origin; correct diagnosis (clinical and laboratory) at the onset of symptoms is important. Among the most common symptoms fever and jaundice, yellowing of the skin and eyes.

The Undersecretary of Surveillance also mentioned that “there is an adequate supply of tests for the timely diagnosis of Dengue and Leptospira in health facilities.”

This early warning allows joint actions between this State portfolio and the Decentralized Autonomous Governments (GADs) with the purpose of articulating activities to promote health, sanitation, protection of risk groups and domestic animals.