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PIA Press Release
Friday, January 06, 2012


DOH urges TS ‘Sendong” victims to avail of medical services vs. leptospirosis

by Jean Marie C. Mendoza

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, January 6 (PIA) -- The Department of Health-Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD) advised tropical storm ‘Sendong’ victims, especially those who waded in flood waters, to avail of medical services to avoid being a victim of a silent, deadly disease—leptospirosis.

The DOH-CHD also reminded individuals with suspected leptospirosis to religiously take the medicines given to them.

Leptospirosis can damage internal organs and possibly fatal, warned DOH.

The illness lasts from a few days to three weeks or longer. Without treatment, recovery may take several months.

A person may become infected with leptospirosis when a person’s open wound comes into contact with water contaminated by urine of infected animals, especially mice.

‘Sendong’ victims are also advised to maintain proper personal hygiene and to always maintain clean surroundings.

All the hospitals in the city are now on a “Code Red” status and DOH officials are doing their best in preventing this disease and are giving out medicines antibiotic prophylaxis and other medical treatment, inside and out the evacuation center.

Among the signs and symptoms are fever, chills, bone and body pains then later a few days they will developed red eyes and rashes, said Dr. Dave Mendoza, Head of the Regional Epidemiology, Surveillance and Disaster Response Unit of DOH-CHD here during a recent meeting of the Technical Working Group (TWG) of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC), region 10.

Mendoza added that once it comes into contact with cuts and open wounds in the skin, a person may develop high-grade fever, muscle pain and nausea. If complications may arise, it can lead to renal failure, respiratory distress and eventually death.

Meanwhile, Mendoza said the high increase in the number of cases of suspected individuals could probably be associated to indifference of the people to take the prophylactic dose of Doxycycline.

He said that although the people received their ration of the said medicine, many did not take the medication.

Many people, especially, those living outside of evacuation centers (EC’s) came only for the food rations and relief goods but not for the medical consultations, Mendoza further said. (PIA-10)

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