The Fiji Ministry of Health has reported 179 confirmed leptospirosis cases through February 18.
This comes after recent heavy rains and flooding in the country.
The breakdown of cases are as follows: 73 cases from the Western Division, 65 in the Central Division, 38 in the North Division and 3 in the Eastern Division.
Thus far, 14 deaths had been reported; 12 deaths in the Western Division, 1 death in the Central Division and 1 in the Northern Division.
Most of those affected were aged between 20 and 49 years and male.
The ministry said the cases of leptospirosis are above the expected figure for this time of the year in the western and central parts of the nation.
The head of Fiji’s Medical Association Dr Basharat Munshi is urging the public to boil all drinking water and cover their hands and feet when out in the fields.
“It’s an occupation hazard for farmers, dairy workers and abattoir workers so if you’re a farmer, please wear gumboots and gloves where necessary,” Dr Munshi said.
“If you have any cuts and scratches to cover them up when you go out into the fields.”
“The symptoms of leptospirosis include fever, muscle pain, headache, red eyes, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, dizziness or feeling weak.
“To prevent leptospirosis, people must avoid wading or swimming in flooded waters, wear shoes when walking outside, and keep all food and drink covered and away from rats.”
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