NewsDesk @bactiman63

The Philippines Department of Health (DOH) reports a total of 2,079 cases and 225 deaths due to leptospirosis nationwide from the beginning of the year through July 15.

Image/Robert Herriman

One hundred eighty new cases were logged from June 18 to July 1 alone, accounting for a 42 percent increase from the 128 cases reported two weeks prior.

Central Luzon exhibited a continuous increase in leptospirosis cases in the last six weeks, according to the DOH.

Ilocos region and Bicol region tallied an increase in cases in the last two weeks. Meanwhile, Metro Manila, Cordillera Administrative Region, Cagayan Valley, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Davao region and Caraga showed a rise in cases in the last three to four weeks.

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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.

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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.

Check out my 2018 interview with Dr. Ted Herbosa on leptospirosis:

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