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  • Writer's pictureMenchie Kinao

Baguio plans to relaunch rat-catching challenge to combat leptospirosis surge

Updated: Sep 13

Baguio City, Philippines – To combat the recent surge in leptospirosis cases within Baguio City, Mayor Benjamin Magalong is planning to relaunch the rat-catching challenge.

Sanitation Engineer Charles Bryan Carame of the City Health Services Office disclosed that 25 cases were recorded from January to August this year, showing a 177.78% increase compared to the 9 cases during the same period last year.

Of the said figure, four died but only two were confirmed positive for leptospira, the bacteria coming from rats and any four-legged animals like livestock and dogs that cause leptospirosis. The bacteria spread through the urine of infected animals, which can get into water or soil and can survive there for weeks to months.

Infected ones manifest mild flu-like illness that may progress to serious symptoms like jaundice, respiratory distress, meningitis, and internal bleeding, affecting the kidney and the liver, resulting in multi-organ failure. If not given immediate medical attention, it may cause death.

Most of the 25 cases this year are patients from Irisan, Lourdes Subdivision Extension, Asin Road, Cabinet Hill-Teachers Camp, and Gibraltar.

“Prevention is still the key. Kung may mga naipong tubig, ‘wag kang susulong na di ka protektado kasi usually, papasok yan sa mga open wounds… and another would be, kung na-ingest natin through the mouth, through the nose yung naihian,” Carame said in an earlier briefing.

Residents are further reminded to clean up and avoid swimming or wading in potentially contaminated water. Wearing proper personal protection like boots and gloves is also recommended.

Meanwhile, the mayor is eyeing to launch anew the rat-catching challenge in a bid to control rat population and prevent the spread of leptospirosis in return.

The month-long activity conducted in April 2020 at the public market yielded 1,766 rodents. The top sections with the biggest haul were given P20,000, P10,000, and P5,000 cash prizes, respectively.



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