NEWS

6-Year-Old Child Is Youngest Leptospirosis Death This Year

More people hospitalised after flooding, Late presentation of cases a concern
16 Feb 2022 11:00
6-Year-Old Child Is Youngest Leptospirosis Death This Year
Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services, Dr James Fong. Photo: Ronald Kumar

 

A six-year-old child is the youngest person to have succumbed to leptospirosis this year.

Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services, Dr James Fong, made the revelation while confirming the 11 deaths from leptospirosis recorded for 2022.

Dr Fong said since January, the ministry has confirmed 74 cases, however, there were many more who were diagnosed clinically.

He said the three divisional hospitals had reported 28 admissions with 19 in Lautoka Hospital alone.

“A total of 11 deaths have been reported, the youngest was 6 years old and the oldest was 56 years, and most of the deaths were in iTaukei males between 16 to 35 years of age,” he said.

“Delay in accessing care has been noted to contribute significantly to these adverse outcomes.

“After the recent floods, we are starting to see more people admitted for leptospirosis into our hospitals in the Western Division and the intensive care unit at Lautoka Hospital.”

He said members of the public must understand that to prevent leptospirosis, one should avoid wading or swimming in flooded waters, wear shoes when walking outside, and keep all food and drinks covered and away from rats.

“Also, early treatment can decrease the severity and duration of disease and this entails initiating antibiotic treatment as soon as possible without waiting for laboratory results,” he said.

 

Advisory

Dr Fong has urged members of the public to see a doctor if down with a fever for more than three days.

“With the widespread rain and flooding around the country, the public is requested to please consult a doctor early if you are sick, especially if you have a fever and remain unwell for more than three days and don’t seem to be responding to outpatient treatment.

“The Ministry of Health and Medical Services has convened the Communicable Disease Committee, which will assist the Divisional Command Centres in responding to cases of leptospirosis, typhoid, and dengue fever, including raising awareness amongst the public and providing refresher training for medical professionals in primary care for early diagnosis and treatment.”

Feedback: inoke.rabonu@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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