Saturday, October 17, 2009
The Department of Health in the Philippines warns the public on leptospirosis after the floodings in Manila.
With the recent spate of flooding in the country, the cases of leptospirosis rises and this is a cause for concern.
I am ashamed to admit that I havent heard of 'leptospirosis' until a few months after arriving in Manila. The first time that the house we were renting got flooded (see photo above); we treated the flood as an adventure. I even let the kids play, collect trash floating around (my eldest told me the trash would prevent the water from receeding) and let them experience 'flood.'
And then when I was proudly showing the photos to friends; a doctor mentioned to me about leptospirosis. He said it is very dangerous to let people wad in floodwater because of this condition.
Leptospirosis is caused by swallowing the bacteria directly from water, absorbing it through cuts in the skin, or through food. Although the disease is commonly associated with rat urine, infection can also come from animals like cattle, pigs, horses, dogs, and wild animals. The bacteria live in freshwater and are killed immediately by heat, disinfectant, acids and alkalis.
The disease’s incubation period is seven to 12 days after exposure. Symptoms may appear suddenly as early as four days after exposure, or as late as 21 days. Common signs and symptoms are flu-like and include fever, a red skin rash and general weakness. Headaches, reaction to light, muscle and joint pains, vomiting, and fatigue are also common. Incubation period may last up to a month. Death may also occur.
Anyone with a history of wading in floodwaters and who has the symptoms of the disease should consult the nearest doctor or health facility for treatment immediately.
Other guidelines to prevent the disease are as follows:
- All drinking water should be brought to a rolling boil for at least five minutes and preferably up to 20 minutes.
- Fresh vegetables and fruits should be washed in clean water before cooking or peeling
- Use protective gears like rubber boots and gloves if you want to wade in floodwaters
- Make sure that all things (furnitures, appliances, etc) that were under floodwaters are thoroughly soaped and washed
The typhoons that damaged a part of the Philippines left a lot of people displaced: Now I am using my blog to let you know that there are many schools rendered 'useless' by the typhoon; thus there is the Adopt-a-School Program. There are more than 100 schools who need help such as notebooks, pens and pencils, papers, etc... Or you could email me for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org
MANILA, Philippines — The Inquirer is publishing the list of Metro Manila public schools damaged by Tropical Storm “Ondoy.” The Inquirer hopes that benefactors will rush to help meet the urgent needs of these places of learning for the nation’s children.
Please adopt a school now. To find out how to do so, please contact Inquirer Learning editor Chelo Banal Formoso at 897-8808 to 09 local 399, (Sun) 0922-8182942, (Smart) 0918-3824061. Here are the list of schools: click