The Ministry of Health has reported 29 cases of leptospirosis so far this year.
There were a total of 54 cases of the disease in 2012. Health officials stated that of the 29 cases reported so far for 2013, 13 persons were hospitalised, while 15 individuals required hospitalisation last year.
No deaths from leptospirosis have been reported to date for the year, Ministry officials said. However, there was one death in 2012.
The following measures are recommended for the prevention of leptospirosis. Persons should 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.