Lata Bayu leptospirosis victims discharged from hospital


SUNGAI PETANI: The two persons who contracted leptospirosis (rat urine disease) at the Lata Bayu picnic spot in Baling near here were discharged from the Bukit Mertajam Hospital yesterday after fully recovering.

Kedah health director Dr Marzukhi Md Isa said the two were among three friends who contracted the disease while picnicking at the spot.

The other victim, a man in his 30s from Penang, however, died.

Speaking to reporters after closing an anti-dengue programme here, Dr Marzukhi said

initial investigations revealed that the man who died, who was an

employee of the Penang Hospital, had spent too much time immersed in water at the waterfalls at Lata Bayu.

“We believe the pathogens had entered his body through the eyes, mouth or cuts on his

skin causing him to suffer complications before succumbing to the disease.

“We are taking more samples from the area for analysis and a cleaning team has been despatched to the scene to disinfect the area,” he said.

He also said two recreation spots in the state were ordered to be closed to check the spread of the disease and not three as reported in yesterday’s newspapers.

The two spots are Lata Bayu and Puncak Naning in Kuala Nerang while Bukit Wang in Kubang Pasu is not affected.

He advised the public to take adequate precautions when visiting waterfall recreation spots and seek medical help immediately if they had any leptospirosis symptoms.

The early symptoms include headaches, muscle aches, eye pain with bright lights, chills and fever and watering and redness of the eyes. Meanwhile, in Baling, closure of the Lata Bayu picnic spot has made residents of five villages nearby very worried as they have been sourcing water from the hill stream there for a long time.

Mohd Zaki Said, 29, who operates a stall at the waterfall area, urged the health authorities to brief the residents on the disease. Another resident, Maznah Ibrahim, 30, said she regularly used the water from the stream for cooking while her family members used it for bathing.

“We are really worried by this latest development and urge the authorities to help us,” she said. — Bernama