PRO/AH/EDR> Leptospirosis – Philippines (07): (MM) increasing cases


A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Wed 16 Aug 2023
Source: ABS – CBN News – Philippines [edited]

Quezon City has raised the alarm over its increasing cases of
potentially deadly but preventable leptospirosis.

According to the Quezon City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance
Unit (CESU), 5 deaths from different barangays — Sauyo, South
Triangle, Quirino 2-C, Commonwealth, and Batasan Hills — have been
attributed to leptospirosis over the past couple of weeks.

“This worrying trend escalates the number of deaths from the disease
to 12 (from 8 last year),” it said.

CESU said there was an increase in leptospirosis cases in the city in
the past 2 weeks.

From 8-14 Aug [2023], CESU logged 34 new cases of leptospirosis,
13.33% higher compared to the 30 infections it reported the week
prior, or from 1-7 Aug [2023]. It added that on Monday [14 Aug 2023] alone, it detected 20 new cases.

The total number of leptospirosis cases so far this year [2023] in the
city rose to 114.

The city’s epidemiology bureau said that Barangay Batasan Hills “is
emerging as a hotspot,” reporting the highest tally of 9 cases.

It also warned of “potential clusters of cases” in Barangay Nagkaisang
Nayon, Quirino 2-A, and Bagong Silangan.

Leptospirosis cases are expected to increase during the rainy season,
as more people wade through floodwaters that may be contaminated with
urine from rodents and animals infected with the bacteria

Among the symptoms of leptospirosis are fever and chills, head and
muscle aches, red eyes, vomiting, and jaundice or yellow skin and

Pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis are available for leptospirosis.

Due to the concerning trend, CESU has engaged in an intensive campaign
to combat leptospirosis. It urged residents to be vigilant and take
preventive measures against leptospirosis as the city reached the
alert threshold for the disease.

CESU chief Dr. Rolly Cruz reminded residents to avoid floodwaters,
practice good personal hygiene, seek medical help, and be on alert for

The CESU is visiting communities to investigate if other family
members have been exposed to the leptospirosis-causing bacteria to
give appropriate management and information campaign. Meanwhile,
health centers are conducting assessments to actively seek those
exposed to floodwaters in the previous weeks to administer
post-exposure prophylaxis antibiotics if necessary to avoid

The Department of Health expects cases of leptospirosis to go up in
the next few weeks amid the rainy season.

DOH Undersecretary Eric Tayag reminds the public not to wade in
floodwaters as open wounds may get exposed to the leptospirosis
bacteria. He urged people to use boots if walking through flooded
areas and monitor symptoms if exposed to contaminated waters.

[Byline: Willard Cheng]

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