Lep­tospiro­sis in­creased by 251 per cent in April: Health

Fiji Sun - - Front Page - Source: Min­istry of Health Feed­back: jy­otip@fi­jisun.com.fj

The Min­istry of Health and Med­i­cal Ser­vices has up scaled sur­veil­lance with the rise in lep­tospiro­sis by 251 per cent cases in the coun­try last month.

As of 30th April, the na­tional stats show cases of Lep­tospiro­sis have reached 166, com­pared to the 66 cases re­ported in early April. The Health Min­istry has been work­ing tire­lessly to ad­dress the in­crease in cases and there­fore ad­vises those who may be af­fected to seek med­i­cal as­sis­tance from their health care provider im­me­di­ately. The ill­ness lasts from a few days to 3 weeks or longer and with­out treat­ment, re­cov­ery may take sev­eral months.

The dis­ease is of­ten dif­fi­cult to di­ag­nose clin­i­cally; lab­o­ra­tory sup­port is re­quired. Once the di- ag­no­sis has been made, treat­ment with ap­pro­pri­ate an­tibi­otics should be ini­ti­ated as early as pos­si­ble. Un­treated cases can progress to a more se­vere and po­ten­tially fa­tal stage, there­fore pre­ven­tion is very im­por­tant. Pre­ven­ta­tive mea­sures in­clude:

Con­trol­ling the in­fec­tion source (e.g. ro­dent con­trol, an­i­mal vac­ci­na­tion);

In­ter­rupt­ing the trans­mis­sion­route (e.g. wear­ing pro­tec­tive cloth­ing, re­frain from con­tact with in­fected an­i­mals and from swimming in con­tam­i­nated water, pro­vide clean drink­ing-water); or

Pre­vent­ing in­fec­tion or dis­ease in the hu­man host (e.g. vac­ci­na­tion, an­tibi­otic pro­phy­laxis, in­for­ma­tion to doc­tors, ve­teri­nar­i­ans, risk groups and the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion).

The risk of ac­quir­ing lep­tospiro­sis can be greatly re­duced by not swimming or wad­ing in water that might be con­tam­i­nated with an­i­mal urine, or elim­i­nat­ing con­tact with po­ten­tially in­fected an­i­mals. The Min­is­ter for Health and Med­i­cal Ser­vices Mr Jone Usa­mate has called on the peo­ple to take ex­tra care and pro­tect them­selves from con­tract­ing such diseases. “We have is­sued ad­vi­sories on the emer­gence of diseases within the cur­rent con­di­tions. “We urge peo­ple to be care­ful and ad­here to the ad­vice, and keep them­selves safe” Mr Usa­mate said.

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