NewsDesk @bactiman63

The Philippines Department of Health is reporting an increase in leptospirosis cases this year through August 9.

Image/Robert Herriman

The number of cases reported in 2022 to date is 1,178, up 27% rom the same period in 2021 (928). In addition, 156 deaths due to leptospirosis have been reported year to date, up from 90 reported during the same time last year.

The National Capital Region (NCR), Cagayan valley region and Western Visayas have seen the most cases with 207, 152 and 150, respectively.

The Western Visayas (35) and the NCR (25) reports the most leptospirosis deaths.

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease. People (and animals) can get infected when they are exposed to the urine of infected animals. They can also get infected from water, soil, or food contaminated with infected animal urine. Leptospirosis bacteria can enter the body through skin or mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth).

To reduce your individual risk, it is important to understand that exposure to animals, soil, mud, and floodwaters during work or recreational activities increases your risk of infection.

Symptoms include fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, jaundice (yellow eyes and skin), red eyes, and skin rash. 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.

Leptospirosis is treated with antibiotics.