Beware of rat urine dis­ease in flood­wa­ters

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

KUALA TERENG­GANU: The East Coast En­vi­ron­men­tal Re­search In­sti­tute (Eseri) yes­ter­day ad­vised the peo­ple to avoid dip­ping them­selves in flood­wa­ters for too long or too of­ten to pre­vent con­tract­ing lep­tospiro­sis or rat urine dis­ease.

Ac­cord­ing to Eseri, which is based at Sul­tan Zainal Abidin Uni­ver­sity, flood­wa­ters are of­ten con­tam­i­nated with all kinds of bac­te­ria.

Its direc­tor, As­soc Prof Dr Hafizan Juahir, said the bac­te­ria can en­ter the hu­man body through cuts or cav­i­ties or if a per­son ac­ci­den­tally drinks the wa­ter.

“En­sure that food waste and refuse are placed in closed con­tain­ers such as rub­bish bins or plas­tic. Food waste and refuse can at­tract dis­ease­bear­ing an­i­mals to homes, es­pe­cially in flood-hit ar­eas,” he said.

He added stud­ies done on cases of lep­tospiro­sis showed that clin­i­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics and en­vi­ron­men­tal and so­cioe­co­nomic fac­tors were closely as­so­ci­ated with the dis­ease.

He said an out­break of the dis­ease usu­ally oc­curs after a flood caused by heavy sea­sonal rain, like what was hap­pen­ing now in the coun­try. – Ber­nama

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