The Epidemiology Bureau of the Philippines Department of Health has reported an increase in leptospirosis cases and deaths in 2022.
From January 1 through November 12, 3,234 cumulative leptospirosis cases were reported in the country, a 84 percent increase for the same period in 2021 (1,754).
The death toll due to leptospirosis is up 118 percent compared to 2021 as officials report 411 total deaths. During the same period in 2021, 189 leptospirosis deaths were recorded.
Regions reporting the most cases include the Metro Manila region (735), the Western Visayas (402) and the Cagayan valley region (344).
Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease. People (and animals) can get infected when they are exposed to the urine of infected animals. They can also get infected from water, soil, or food contaminated with infected animal urine. Leptospirosis bacteria can enter the body through skin or mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth).
To reduce your individual risk, it is important to understand that exposure to animals, soil, mud, and floodwaters during work or recreational activities increases your risk of infection.
Symptoms include fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, jaundice (yellow eyes and skin), red eyes, and skin rash. 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.