NATION

Govt Steps Up Leptospirosis Fight

The Ministry of Health & Medical Services (MoHMS) would be formulating a Leptospirosis Action Plan 2016-2020 because of the high morbidity and mortality rate, compared to other communicable diseases. A
27 Aug 2015 09:13
Govt Steps Up Leptospirosis Fight
Leptospirosis is most commonly transmitted from animals to humans when people with unhealed breaks in the skin, come into contact with water or soil that has been contaminated with animal urine - the bacterium can also enter the body through the eyes or mucous membranes.

The Ministry of Health & Medical Services (MoHMS) would be formulating a Leptospirosis Action Plan 2016-2020 because of the high morbidity and mortality rate, compared to other communicable diseases.

A two-day meeting held at Novotel Suva Lami bay hotel recently gathered health practitioners to formulate an action plan for Leptospirosis as a priority communicable disease for the Ministry.

An average of 420 laboratory-confirmed cases and 42 deaths have been reported each year from 2012-2014. The aim of the meeting was to strengthen the efforts to reduce the burden of Leptospirosis in Fiji.

Deputy secretary Public Health, Dr Eric Rafaai said the meeting would also review the findings of existing research programmes and identify outputs that could be used to develop interventions and review ongoing and proposed research activities.

“Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that affects humans and animals. It is caused by the genus Leptospira. Some symptoms include high fever, headache, muscle aches, vomiting, Jaundice (yellow skin and eyes), red eyes, abdominal pain, diarrhoea and rash,” Dr Rafaai said.

The meeting will have consultations between representatives from government and local ministries, private agricultural enterprise, non-government organisations, SPC and WHO to develop and implement a national strategy for the control of Leptospirosis in Fiji.

 

What is leptospirosis?

Leptospirosis is a fairly uncommon bacterial infection caused by a strain of Leptospira. It is most commonly transmitted from animals to humans when people with unhealed breaks in the skin, come into contact with water or soil that has been contaminated with animal urine – the bacterium can also enter the body through the eyes or mucous membranes. Typically, the animals that transmit the infection to humans include rats, skunks, opossums, foxes, raccoons and other vermin.  Source: Medicalnewstoday.com

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

 



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