The Taguig City government is taking preemptive measures to protect and guard city residents from the threat of leptospirosis and other diseases.
City health workers have started distributing prophylaxis to residents living in flood-prone barangays in the city in line with the local government’s commitment to stop the dreaded infection from harming the people this rainy season.
Last Thursday, the distribution of prophylaxis was made in the barangays of Bambang and Calzada Tipas.
Mayor Laarni Cayetano said residents who have waded through floodwaters are encouraged to go to the nearest health center to have themselves checked and to avail of the prophylaxis, free of charge.
“Leptospirosis is a deadly infection, but Taguig City wants to prevent loss of life by providing residents with a prophylactic that can ward off the infection for up to a week,” she said.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection in many animals, such as rodents. Waste products from infected animals can contaminate soil, water, and vegetation. The bacteria—leptospira spirochetes —can enter the human body through ingestion or open wounds, which is the usual mode of transmission during heavy rains and flooding. The infection can manifest itself through fever, muscle pains, headaches and even organ failure.
According to the World Health Organization, “Leptospirosis can be transmitted to humans through cuts and abrasions of the skin, or through the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, and mouth with water contaminated with the urine of infected animals.”
The city government of Taguig is also undertaking anti-flood measure in the city with the goal of preventing the spread of diseases such as dengue and leptospirosis.
Workers from the city’s Solid Waste Management Office are conducting a series of clearing operations of drainage and creeks to maintain the cleanliness of the waterways.
Strategies being implemented include the use of heavy equipment for debris clearing operations, and for the desilting and dredging of waterways so that floodwaters may pass through them freely.
Aside from the maintenance of the streets under the flood-control program, the city government also promote the importance of proper garbage segregation through the Information Education Campaign program in various public schools.
From Jan. 1 to July 3, 2018, according to Health department secretary Francisco Duque, a total of 368 Leptospirosis cases, with 52 deaths, were reported from Metro Manila. He noted that a sudden increase in the number of cases was observed from June 10 to July 3.
“This is 38 percent higher compared to the average number of cases reported in the previous five years,” Duque said.
Duque warned that if left untreated, Leptospirosis might cause kidney failure, brain damage, massive internal bleeding, and death.
Cases usually present with flu-like symptoms, followed by leg pain.
Severe cases may experience yellowish discoloration of the eyes and skin and tea-colored urine.
“We advise those who have flu-like symptoms now and who had previously waded in floodwaters to seek immediate medical treatment in the nearest health facility,” said Duque.
The department advises the public to avoid wading and walking in flooded and muddy areas and ensure that food are well cooked and stored.