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Leptospirosis claims eight lives this year

by Peter Boon, reporters@theborneopost.com. Posted on November 16, 2012, Friday

SIBU: Leptospirosis has claimed eight lives in the state as of Nov 10 this, with five outbreaks reported.

According to statistics from the state Health Department, 249 cases were recorded, 79 of them occurred in Kuching.

There were 54 cases in Kapit, 24 in Sri Aman and 21 in Limbang.

State Health director Datu Dr Zulkifli Jantan warned that an upward surge in the number of Leptospirosis cases was probable in the event of widespread flooding.

“Hence, parents must ensure that their children do not play near drains or wade in floodwater as the water may be contaminated with urine of rats,” he said.

“Leptospirosis can be acquired by wading in floodwaters contaminated with the urine of rats or animals such as pigs, cows, dogs, or any wild animals infected by Leptospira bacteria.

“People who have open or small wounds are of high risk of contracting the disease when in contact with flood water.

“It is highly recommended that they use protective gears such as boots.”

Dr Zulkifli advised people who were down with fever and vomiting to see a doctor without delay. Drink boiled water and eat well-cooked food, he added.

Leptospirosis is a bacterial zoonotic disease caused by spirochetes of the genus Leptospira that affects humans, and the symptoms may only appear after two to 10 days incubation period (time of exposure to first symptoms).

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