The Department of Health on Friday cautioned the public against getting leptospirosis from flood waters during the rainy season.
Beverly Ho, director for Promotion and Communication Service, said during an online forum that exposure to floods must be avoided especially if one had open wounds.
“If ever that happens, please reach out to your health care provider so that you might be provided with necessary post-exposure prophylaxis if necessary,” Ho said.
Leptospirosis is a water-borne illness caused by the leptospira bacteria.
The bacteria may enter through wounds when an individual is in contact with flood waters, vegetation or moist soil that has been contaminated with the urine of infected animals, especially rats, according to the department.
It has an incubation period of seven to 10 days.
Among the symptoms of leptospirosis are fever, muscle pain, headache and reddish eyes in some cases. Severe cases may affect the liver, kidney and the brain.