Dengue and leptospirosis on the rise

December 2, 2022 5:25 am

Rising trends in cases of Leptospirosis and Dengue have been noted by the Ministry of Health.

However, the Ministry states the admission levels remain low and the mortality rate among admitted cases remains low despite the fact that for most of this year, reported case numbers had remained near or slightly above the outbreak level.

Recent heavy rain and flooding have affected many areas and communities throughout the country.

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The Ministry says it is focusing on geographical areas of concern for the purpose of mobilizing extra capability to help manage communicable disease outbreaks and also escalate the promotion of preventative measures.

The Ministry advises that to reduce your individual risk, it is important to understand that exposure to animals, soil, mud, and floodwaters during work or recreation activities increases your risk of infection.

Important prevention measures include wearing fully covered footwear at all times when going outdoors, avoiding wading or swimming in flooded waters, using clean fresh water to wash up after exposure to muddy waters, and keeping all food and drinks covered and away from rats.

For workplaces, practice good personal hygiene at all times, cover cuts and wounds well, and use protective equipment, especially footwear when in flooded and/or muddy areas.

Early treatment can decrease the severity and duration of the disease.

Please seek medical care if you have recently had contact with floodwaters, mud, or animals, and develop the following symptoms: fever, muscle pain, and headache.

You may also have red eyes, loss of appetite, nausea/vomiting, dizziness, or feel weak.

Leptospirosis can be treated with appropriate antibiotic medications prescribed by a doctor if treatment is sought early.

Danger signs for severe leptospirosis include shortness of breath, coughing blood, chest pain, yellow eyes/skin (jaundice), signs of bleeding (including unexplained bruising), decreased or increased urination, and difficulty staying awake. Severe leptospirosis is life-threatening, and anyone with these symptoms must be taken to the hospital immediately.

The Ministry has reported an outbreak of Typhoid in the Raranibulubulu community in Vanua Levu and sporadic cases in Navosa.

Measures taken so far through outreach deployment of medical teams and the effective efforts of community leaders have controlled any escalation in case numbers.