Be Wary of Leptospirosis in Floods

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UNAIR NEWS – One of the diseases people should be wary of in rainy and flood season is leptospirosis. A disease caused by Leptospira sp. Bacteria can cause death. According to the Ministry of Health data published in February 2015, 435 cases were recorded with 62 people died of this disease.

People must remain wary of this disease during floods as they can increase the chance of disease transmission. But, according to M. Atoillah, dr., M.Kes, people should not be wary of this disease during floods only, they should be wary of water inundations like sewage, drainage and culverts as they can be contaminated by the bacteria from the rats’ urine.

“When the bacteria enter a host, they will search for their favorite spots, such as rats’ urinary tract,” said dr. Atoillah, a lecturer from Department of Epidemiology, Faculty of Public Health, Universitas Airlangga.

The disease is transmitted to human through open skin wound and mucous membrane such as in the mouth and nose. The bacteria incubation period in human was 14 days. When make an entry in human body, Leptospira sp. will attack liver and blood vessels. Human infected by the bacteria will have high fever, muscular pain, nausea, bloody nose and jaundice. It can bring death to 3-16 percent of the patients.

“This muscular pain is what differs Leptospirosis from Hepatitis as both of them cause jaundice. Critical or mild condition depends on the immediate treatment and their fitness. The sooner it is treated, the better,” dr. Atoillah said.

From the age category, Children and senior citizens are susceptible to this disease. Children’s resistance is not strong enough and senior citizens have weakening resistance.  From the occupational category, sanitary workers are the most susceptible to these bacteria.

Disease prevention is one way to avoid its spread. People should implement healthy and clean behavior, including eradicating rats’ infestation at home. Parents also need to supervise their children when playing near inundated water.  (*)

Author: Defrina Sukma S
Editor : Nuri Hermawan

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