The online news portal of TV5
SAN CARLOS CITY -- Five more persons from various towns of Pangasinan died of leptospirosis at the Pangasinan Provincial Hospital (PPH) here from Aug. 1 to 23, bringing to eight the number of deaths from the disease in the province.
Of the eight leptospirosis deaths, three died from Aug. 14 to 19 in Dagupan City.
Dr. Policarpio Manuel, PPH officer-in-charge, said the five fatalities, which were referrals from various hospitals, were already in the late stages of the ailment and suffering from renal failure and other complications.
In an interview, Manuel said the fatalities were farmers, fishermen and carpenters from Asingan, Urbiztondo, Lingayen and Umingan towns with ages 27 to 40 years.
These towns were flooded last week due to heavy monsoon rains spawned by tropical storm "Helen."
Manuel said one leptospirosis patient is still confined at PPH.
On orders of Gov. Amado Espino Jr., he said all leptospirosis patients will get free hospitalization in the wards.
The Region 1 Medical Center (R1MC) in Dagupan City, the other referral center for leptospirosis patients, reported cases from Dagupan City, other towns and cities in Pangasinan and other nearby provinces.
Dr. Michael Canto, R1MC spokesperson, said apart from Dagupan, leptospirosis fatalities were also reported from Bani and Sta. Barbara towns.
Dr. Manuel urged the residents, particularly farmers, to wear protective booths in their fields or if they wade in flood waters. He also asked parents not to allow their children to swim in flood waters as they may ingest water contaminated with infected rats urine.
According to Dr. Manuel, open wounds in the feet, legs and other parts of the body, including the mouth could be the entry points of leptospira, the bacteria that causes the disease. It is transmitted from infected rats urine.
He said those who died first felt flu-like symptoms and sought treatment at late stage of the disease.
Without treatment, leptospirosis can lead to kidney damage, meningitis (inflammation of the membrane around the brain and spinal cord), liver failure, respiratory distress and even death.