World Disaster Report
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Disease breaks out in Mindanao following Typhoon Washi, hospitals on Code Red status

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We note with regret that the situation on Mindanao has deteriorated. Disease has broken out among the survivors, adding more misery to their painful reconstruction process. Having worked flood recovery we can attest that those situations with the exception of outright plague, are the most dangerous health-wise.  This particular disease is not highly contagious between humans, however it does flourish in post-flood conditions. We have noted several other common post disaster diseases in our latest book, Surviving Disaster Without Leaving Home. As conditions "normalize", the disease may subside to sub-epidemic levels. We wish the best for survivors of Washi and the Philippine  Government as it tries to control the situation. Please note our post below with details of the disease. leptospirosis poster
IFRC: According to health authorities, 200 cases were initially suspected, and 128 cases have been confirmed. Four people have died. Leptospirosis is an infection caused by bacteria found in the urine of infected animals, especially rats. It typically infects humans through wounds or broken skin that comes in contact with contaminated flood water, vegetation, or moist soil. NIH: Causes, incidence, and risk factors. Leptospirosis is caused by exposure to several types of the Leptospira bacteria, which can be found in fresh water that has been contaminated by animal urine. It occurs in warmer climates. It is not spread from person to person, except in vary rare cases when it is transmitted through breast milk or from a mother to her unborn child. Reliefweb: "All hospital and clinic staff are on alert," Jose Llacuna Jr, Department of Health (DoH) assistant regional director for Northern Mindanao, confirmed on 5 January, citing 314 cases and eight deaths in flood-affected Cagayan de Oro City and Iligan. PHI.gov: Thus, Bernadas said there is an ongoing outbreak of Leptospirosis in Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental, especially, in areas affected by the flash floods brought about by Typhoon Sendong, where many people died, injured, missing and displaced. Majority of those affected with leptospirosis waded or swam in flood waters, which resulted in morbidities ranging from acute respiratory infections, injuries, fever and leptospirosis, among others, Bernadas said. According to the website www.webmd.com, "a disease outbreak happens when a disease occurs in greater numbers than expected in a community or region, or during a season. An outbreak may occur in one community or even extend to several countries. It can last from days to years.
Last modified on Thursday, 23 February 2012 22:53

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