23 people have died from leptospirosis in Fiji this year

23 people have died from leptospirosis in Fiji this year

By Semi Turaga
Saturday 05/03/2022
Permanent Secretary for Health Doctor James Fong.

23 people have died from leptospirosis in Fiji so far this year based on the latest update by the Health Ministry.

There have been 567 confirmed cases of leptospirosis in Fiji so far with outbreaks in all four divisions.

In response to the leptospirosis outbreak, the Health Ministry has mobilized the Fiji Emergency Medical Assistance Team to Navosa and Ra to assist the local medical teams in providing services and outreach to communities.

Permanent Secretary for Health Doctor James Fong together with senior advisory managers are currently visiting the Ra sub-division.

The leptospirosis bacteria is spread to humans through the urine of infected animals, such as cows, pigs, rats and dogs.

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.

Important prevention measures include wearing full covered footwear at all times when going outdoors, avoiding 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.

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

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

Danger signs for severe leptospirosis include shortness of breath, coughing blood, chest pain, yellow eyes, signs of bleeding including unexplained bruising, decreased or increased urination, difficulty staying awake.

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