16 Pangasinan towns placed under leptospirosis watchlist

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan -- The Provincial Health Office (PHO) has called on residents of Pangasinan to avoid wading in floodwaters this rainy season, as it already placed 16 towns under its leptospirosis watchlist.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Anna de Guzman made the call as six people have died and 40 were afflicted with leptospirosis in various parts of the province since January this year.

Towns under the watchlist are Mangatarem, San Jacinto, Mangaldan, Burgos, Bayambang, Sta. Barbara, Sual, Tayug, Alaminos City, Binmaley, Bolinao, Mabini, San Carlos City, Manaoiag, San Fabian and Alcala.

Dagupan City also records high incidence of leptospirosis each year.

The PHO said that leptospirosis is a disease caused by the bacteria leptospira that enters the body of a person through an open wound in the feet or lower part of the body.

The latest fatality from leptospirosis was a woman from Barangay Bari in Mangaldan town.

The PHO said the best way to avoid the disease is to refrain from wading in floodwaters.

If wading cannot be avoided, residents must wear protective boots, the PHO added.

De Guzman advised residents to have themselves examined by a health professional and not wait for their condition to worsen. (PNA)