Pangasinan health office urges early leptospirosis consultation for flooded areas

DAGUPAN CITY, Pangasinan, Sept 1 (PIA) — The Provincial Health Office (PHO) urged early consultation with doctors or health authorities for people, especially those living in flooded areas, who show early symptoms of leptospirosis, a serious ailment that usually affects the kidneys.

The symptoms usually start with fever that runs for three to four days, loss of appetite and later, difficulty or burning sensation when urinating.

Dr. Anna de Guzman, provincial health officer, said leptospirosis patients must understand that their affliction could lead to fatal results if treatment comes too late.

She said such patients could end up undergoing dialysis to cleanse their kidneys.

“We, doctors, are not miracle workers and sometimes, in especially serious cases, even dialysis could not prevent a fatal end,” she said over a local radio program.

De Guzman’s statement came amidst a report by the PHO, that leptospirosis cases in the province have increased this year to a staggering 200 percent from January to August. Last year, there were only some 16 cases, she noted.

In Pangasinan, so far, four more deaths were added to the five initially reported bringing together nine deaths from leptospirosis complications this August. This includes reports from Dr. Michael Canto, spokesperson of the Region I Medical Center in Dagupan City.

De Guzman said most public health centers and district hospitals often have to send their patients for dialysis to the lone provincial hospital in Bolingit, San Carlos City which has dialysis facilities.

The PHO has assured that immediate attention and treatment will be given to leptospirosis cases in the province-run district and provincial hospitals.

“We have asked our (public) hospitals to have the basic things ready like intravenous always in their emergency rooms so patients coming in can be attended to with the least delay,” de Guzman said.

The provincial health officer said that although there is a rise in cases, public hospitals are being provided with enough medicines.

“Mayroon po tayong sapat na gamot (We have enough medicines),” she said.

Leptospirosis is acquired by wading in water contaminated with the urine of infected rats, and other animals.

At present, the top four cases of seasonal diseases under close watch by provincial health men are: leptospirosis, typhoid, diarrhea or gastro-enteritis and dengue.

Dengue fever cases have scaled down by the PHO, de Guzman said, after only several were listed in August in the province.

In the regional level, Pangasinan is still top in the list of dengue cases for Ilocos region. (ANL/VHS-PIA1, Pangasinan)

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