Philippine Daily Inquirer

‘LEPTO’ OUT­BREAKS IN 7 METRO CI­TIES, SAYSDOH

368 cases, 52 deaths recorded in NCR since start of year

- @san­tosti­naINQ By Tina G. San­tos Health · Department of Health and Social Care · Manila · Metro Manila · Quezon City · Taguig · Taguig City · Pasig · Pasig City · Parañaque · Navotas, Metro Manila · Mandaluyong City · Mandaluyong · Malabon · Malabon City · Concepción · Metro Manila · Doha International Airport · National Kidney and Transplant Institute

The De­part­ment of Health (DOH) on Thurs­day de­clared lep­tospiro­sis out­breaks in sev­eral barangays in seven ci­ties in Metro Manila, cit­ing the ris­ing num­ber of deaths due to the bac­te­rial, wa­ter-borne dis­ease over the last two weeks.

Ac­cord­ing to Health Sec­re­tary Fran­cisco Duque III, the cases in the fol­low­ing ci­ties formed the ba­sis of the dec­la­ra­tion:

Que­zon City: Barangay Bag­bag (3 cases), Bagong Si­lan­gan (5), Batasan Hills (9), Com­mon­wealth (7), No­valiches Proper (4), Pay­atas (5), Pinya­han (3) and Vasra (4)

Taguig City: Barangay Lower Bi­cu­tan (5), Western Bi­cu­tan (4), Ma­har­lika Vil­lage (3) and Sig­nal Vil­lage (4)

Pasig City: Barangay Pi­nag­buhatan (4)

Parañaque City: Barangay BF Homes (3) and San Dion­i­sio (3)

Navotas City: North Bay Boule­vard South (3)

Man­daluy­ong City: Barangay Ad­di­tion Hills (3)

Mal­abon City: Barangay Con­cep­cion (3)

From Jan. 1 to July 3 this year, the DOH recorded a to­tal of 368 lep­tospiro­sis cases—with 52 re­sult­ing in deaths—in the Na­tional Cap­i­tal Re­gion.

A sud­den in­crease (105) was ob­served from June 10 to July 3, Duque said, not­ing that this was 38-per­cent higher com­pared to the av­er­age num­ber of 76 cases re­ported in the past five years.

“These are al­ready con­sid­ered out­breaks be­cause they have al­ready breached the epi­demic thresh­old, which means that the cases re­ported now in these ci­ties and barangays have al­ready gone past the av­er­age num­ber for the last five years,” said Duque.

The DOH has alerted hos­pi­tals across the Na­tional Cap­i­tal Re­gion to be pre­pared to ad­mit more pa­tients, he added.

“De­tec­tion and re­port­ing of cases were en­hanced in health cen­ters and hos­pi­tals. Ad­di­tional med­i­cal per­son­nel were de­ployed to the Na­tional Kid­ney and Trans­plant In­sti­tute along with drugs and medicines needed for treat­ment of cases,” he said.

Lep­tospiro­sis can be ac­quired by ex­po­sure to flood wa­ter, mud or food con­tam­i­nated by urine of in­fected an­i­mals such as rats, pigs, dogs, cat­tle and goats. Suf­fer­ers usu­ally feel flu-like symp­toms, high fever, mus­cle pain, eye red­ness, yel­low­ing of skin, tea-col­ored urine, de­creased urine out­put, cough, di­ar­rhea and vom­it­ing.

If left un­treated, lep­tospiro­sis may cause kid­ney fail­ure, brain dam­age, mas­sive in­ter­nal bleed­ing and death.

The DOH re­it­er­ated warn­ings for the pub­lic to avoid wad­ing in street floods and muddy ar­eas, and to en­sure that their food is well cooked and stored.

Mean­while, the Philip­pine Health In­sur­ance Cor­po­ra­tion (PhilHealth) re­minded mem­bers that it pays for claims for lep­tospiro­sis. Philhealth cov­er­age for the dis­ease is at P11,000, in­clud­ing the set­tle­ment of doc­tor’s fees, paid di­rectly to the ac­cred­ited health care in­sti­tu­tions.

In 2017, PhilHealth paid a to­tal of P21.8 mil­lion in so­cial health in­sur­ance ben­e­fits for lep­tospiro­sis cases, up by 46 per­cent com­pared to P15 mil­lion it paid in 2016.

(T)he cases re­ported now in these ci­ties and barangays have al­ready gone past the av­er­age num­ber for the last five years

Fran­cisco Duque III Health sec­re­tary

 ?? —MAR­I­ANNE BER­MUDEZ ?? ALARM­ING Health Sec­re­tary Fran­cisco Duque III vis­its lep­tospiro­sis pa­tients at San Lazaro Hospi­tal in Manila on July 2.
—MAR­I­ANNE BER­MUDEZ ALARM­ING Health Sec­re­tary Fran­cisco Duque III vis­its lep­tospiro­sis pa­tients at San Lazaro Hospi­tal in Manila on July 2.

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