Health

166 cases of leptospirosis, health ministry to increase surveillance

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services is urging Fijians who may be affected by leptospirosis to seek medical assistance from their health care provider immediately. This follows an increase in surveillance after a rise in leptospirosis cases in the country. As of 30th April, national statistics show that there were 166 cases of leptospirosis, compared […]

Peni Shute

May 4, 2016 7:27 am

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services is urging Fijians who may be affected by leptospirosis to seek medical assistance from their health care provider immediately.

Minister for Health and Medical Services, Hon. Jone Usamate, during a press conference. (Peni Shute/Newswire).
Minister for Health and Medical Services, Hon. Jone Usamate, during a press conference. (Peni Shute/Newswire).

This follows an increase in surveillance after a rise in leptospirosis cases in the country. As of 30th April, national statistics show that there were 166 cases of leptospirosis, compared to the 66 cases reported in early April this year.

The Minister for Health and Medical Services Hon. Jone Usamate has called on all Fijians to take extra care and to protect themselves from contracting such diseases.

USAMATE: “We have issued advisories on the emergence of diseases within the current conditions. We urge people to be careful and adhere to the advice, and keep themselves safe.”

The illness lasts for a few days to 3 weeks or longer and without treatment, recovery may take several months.

Untreated cases can progress to a more severe and potentially fatal stage, therefore, prevention is very important. Preventative measures include:

  • Controlling the infection source (e.g. rodent control, animal vaccination)
  • Interrupting the transmission route (e.g. wearing protective clothing, refrain from contact with infected animals and from swimming in contaminated water, provide clean drinking-water)
  • Preventing infection or disease in the human host (e.g. vaccination, antibiotic prophylaxis, information to doctors, veterinarians, risk groups and the general population).

The risk of acquiring leptospirosis can be greatly reduced by not swimming or wading in water that might be contaminated with animal urine, or eliminating contact with potentially infected animals.

Meanwhile, as Fiji has been experiencing significant flooding around the country, people should remain indoors for protection.

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