An “alarming” 33 cases of leptospirosis, seven of them fatal, were noted this past week at the Philippine General Hospital, the University of the Philippines Manila said Friday.
UP Manila said Dr. Kristin Luzentales, PGH Chief Fellow of Section of Adult Nephrology, said 33 cases were admitted since August 31.
This was shortly after floods and rain from the southwest monsoon enhanced by Tropical Storm Maring swamped Metro Manila and nearby areas in Luzon.
UP Manila noted 680 leptospirosis cases, 40 of them fatal, occur on average every year.
Citing information from the Philippine Clinical Practice Guidelines in 2010, it said leptospirosis is “seasonal with a peak incidence during the rainy months of July to October.”
PGH nephrologist Dr. Rey Tan said signs of leptospirosis may include:
- acute febrile illness of at least two days and either residing in a flooded area or has high-risk exposure
- at least two of the following symptoms: myalgia, calf tenderness, conjunctival suffusion, chills, abdominal pain, headache, jaundice, or oliguria
High-risk exposure involves wading in floods and contaminated water, contact with animal fluids, swimming in flood water or ingestion of contaminated water with or without cuts or wounds.
“Clinicians should therefore have a high index of suspicion among patients with febrile illness and high risk exposures because mortality may be as high as 15 percent,” Tan said.
He advised patients with fever, muscle pain and headache to consult their doctors immediately.
Tan warned of potentially fatal complications like kidney failure that will need urgent dialysis. — ELR, GMA News