Philippine Daily Inquirer - - METRO - By Julie M. Aure­lio @JMAure­lioINQ

The Depart­ment of Health (DOH) has warned the pub­lic to be on guard against the threat of lep­tospiro­sis due to the fre­quency of tor­ren­tial rains and flood­ing brought by weather dis­tur­bances.

In an ad­vi­sory, the DOH stressed that lep­tospiro­sis was a fa­tal ill­ness con­tracted by wad­ing through flood­wa­ters con­tam­i­nated with rat urine or fe­ces.

“The pub­lic is strongly ad­vised to avoid con­tract­ing lep­tospiro­sis… It is a deadly ill­ness but it can be avoided and ad­dressed if treated im­me­di­ately,” it said over the week­end.

Lep­tospiro­sis is a dis­ease con­tracted when flood­wa­ters con­tam­i­nated with lep­tospira bac­te­ria from rat urine or fe­ces en­ter the body through the eyes, nose, mouth or open wounds.

Symp­toms in­clude fever, chills, red eyes, jaun­dice, mus­cle pain, se­vere headache and lit­tle urine pro­duc­tion.

To avoid con­tract­ing lep­tospiro­sis, the DOH re­minded peo­ple not to wade in flood­wa­ters. But if it can­not be avoided, one should wear pro­tec­tive gear such as boots, it added.

The pub­lic should also elim­i­nate rats in their sur­round­ings by keep­ing it clean.

For peo­ple who de­velop fever two days af­ter wad­ing in flood­wa­ters, they should im­me­di­ately go to the near­est health cen­ter or con­sult a doc­tor, the DOH said.

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