DOH warns against leptospirosis and of its long incubation period

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 16 2020 07:13 PM

 

MANILA — The Department of Health on Monday said it has yet to monitor new leptospirosis cases brought about by the recent floods due to Typhoon Ulysses, but it warned of the infection’s long incubation period.

“Kung sila ay lumusong sa baha noong isang linggo because of the typhoon, maaaring makakakita tayo ng magkakasakit this coming week pa lang at sa susunod na linggo,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a virtual press briefing.

(If they waded in the flood last week because of the typhoon, we may see the cases this coming week or next week.)

“Medyo mahaba ang incubation period ng leptospirosis (The incubation period of leptospirosis is a bit long),” she added, explaining that a person can show symptoms two to 30 days after being infected.

The DOH has previously released advisories to prevent the spread of leptospirosis, which is usually transmitted through animals like rodents. Wading in flood water especially with an open wound raises the risk of being infected.

If this happens, the patient is advised to seek medical help within 2 days. Symptoms include high fever, severe headache, muscle pains, chills, redness in the eyes, abdominal pain, jaundice, hemorrhages in skin and mucous membranes, vomiting, diarrhea and rashes.

Vergeire explained that Doxycycline is given to prevent leptospirosis, but it requires a doctor’s prescription.

She said it is given for free in government health facilities. On Sunday, the DOH distributed new supplies to its facilities.

In case Doxycycline is not available, the World Health Organization recommends the use of amoxicillin with a doctor’s prescription.

Vergeire said the government has enough supply of both medicines.

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