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Guard against lepto

CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

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The Ministry of Health is reporting that there were 29 cases of leptospirosis so far this year.
Last year, there was a total of 54 cases of the disease.
Health officials are saying that of the 29 cases reported so far for the year, 13 people were hospitalized, while 15 required hospitalization last year.
Officials are also reporting that no deaths from leptospirosis have been reported to date for the year, while there was one death in 2012.
To prevent leptospirosis, health officials are urging people to wear fully covered shoes, gloves, long sleeved shirts and face masks/goggles when handling animals and when in contact with animal fluids/secretions, contaminated soil or feed.  Also, cover all cuts and abrasions with waterproof dressings. Hand washing and showering after contact with potentially contaminated soils, fluids, animals or carcasses is also recommended.
Additionally, the public is advised to use baiting or traps and to clean up workplaces and homes to minimise infestation by potential vectors. Furthermore, clearing of lots and proper garbage disposal should be practised to reduce harbouring of rodents.
“Clinical manifestations of leptospirosis include fever, headache, chills, nausea and vomiting, eye inflammation, and muscle aches.  In more severe cases, the illness may result in liver damage and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes), inflammation of the heart muscle, internal bleeding and kidney failure, manifested by poor urine output.  Persons experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention immediately.” stated the release from the Government Information Service. (PR)