By Charina Clarisse Echaluce
The number of leptospirosis cases and deaths in the Philippines has increased, the Department of Health (DOH) disclosed Thursday.
According to the latest disease surveillance report of the DOH, 910 leptospirosis cases were recorded from January 1 to August 5.
“This is 71.1 percent higher compared to [what was recorded in] the same period as last year, which was 532,” said the DOH report.
Leptospirosis is an infectious disease caused by the Leptospira interrogans bacteria.The leptospira bacteria is transmitted through wounds when in contact with flood waters, vegetation, and moist soil contaminated with the urine of infected animals, especially rats.
Leptospirosis is characterized by fever, muscle pain, reddish, yellowish body discoloration, dark-colored urine, light stools, low urine output, and severe headache.
There were also a higher number of deaths; with 96 or a 10.55 fatality rate. In the same period last year, there were only 50 deaths or 9.40 fatality rate.
Majority of the leptospirosis cases were recorded in the National Capital Region with 172 cases; Davao Region with 112 cases; Western Visayas with 98; Central Luzon with 80; and Eastern Visayas with 72.
Regions with the highest increase in cases were Eastern Visayas with 620 percent increase; Davao Region with 558 percent increase); Central Visayas with 390 percent increase; Caraga with 240 percent increase; and Cagayan Valley with 103 percent increase.