DOH Warns of Leptospirosis After Tropical Storm Ruby

DOH Warns of Leptospirosis After Tropical Storm Ruby


MANILA, PHILIPPINES – With the rainy season still lingering into the cold holiday months, expect flooding in low-lying areas of Metro Manila and coastal communities like CAMANAVA (Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, and Valenzuela).  

Thus, the Department of Health is expecting a surge in leptospirosis cases due to Tropical Storm  Ruby.

“We are expecting a possible rise of leptospirosis [cases] because of the floods,” said acting Health Sec. Janette Garin on Thursday at the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council briefing.

[pq]Leptospirosis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by the US, is a bacterial disease spread through the urine of infected animals, which can get into water or soil.[/pq]


Humans can be infected throughout contact with urine of infected animals or water, soil, for food contaminated with the urine of the infected animals.

The bacteria can enter the body through the eyes, nose, mouth, broken or cut skin.

e3Some of its symptoms include high fever, headache, chills, muscle aches, and vomiting.

Garin said people who waded in floodwaters should go to any nearby health facility to get preventive treatment.

“They could also ask for doxycycline (antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections) to avoid complications,” she said.

As of Thursday, around 940,000 persons remained in evacuation sites, data from the NDRRMC said.

Garin also warned of tetanus infections.

Children in evacuation centers who are six months to five years old would be given vaccinations for anti-polio, measles and additional Vitamin A to boost the immune system.

Garin sees a possible increase in diarrhea cases in evacuation centers due to disrupted water supply.

There are also possibilities of dengue and chikungunya, which are transmitted by mosquitoes.

“Another thing is dengue and chikungunya,” she said.


– DFF, Medical Observer