According to the Leptospirosis Surveillance Report from the Philippines Department of Health, the archipelago has eclipsed the 1,000 case mark as of March 18.
Cases are up in 16 of the 17 regions in the country. The Western Visayas, which includes the provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo and Negros Occidental, reports the most cases with 212, followed by the Cagayan valley region (128), the Central Visayas (89) and Zamboanga Peninsula (87).
85 deaths have been reported to date, a 70 percent increase from the 50 fatalities reported last year at this time.
According to the CDC, Leptospirosis is a disease caused by bacteria. Infected animals spread the bacteria through their urine (pee). When infected animals pee, the bacteria get into the water or soil and can live there for weeks to months.
You can be infected if you touch fresh water, soil, or other objects contaminated with infected animal urine. The most common ways to get infected is urine or contaminated water getting in your eyes, nose, mouth, or broken skin (such as a cut or scratch). You can also get infected by eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water.
Some people with leptospirosis do not have any symptoms. When symptoms occur, they can include fever, headache, chills, muscle aches, vomiting, jaundice (yellow eyes and skin), red eyes, stomach pain, diarrhea, and sometimes a rash. Without proper treatment with antibiotics, people with leptospirosis may develop serious problems with their kidneys, liver, or lining of the brain and spinal cord (meningitis). In some cases, leptospirosis can cause death.