Suspected cases of leptospirosis in Puerto Rico rise to 72 after Fiona’s passage

The Department of Health (DH) of Puerto Rico increased to 72 suspected cases of leptospirosis on the island, associated with the flooding caused by Hurricane Fiona a week and a half ago.

The head of the DS, Carlos Mellado, urged the public, through a statement, to do not touch water, soil or food that could be contaminated by coming into contact with urine (or other secretions) of infected animals.

"We urgently call for wear gloves, safety glasses and closed shoes and drink bottled water"he exhorted.

In addition, he recommended that people who have a cut wear a waterproof Band-Aid or bandage and not walk, swim, bathe, submerge their heads or swallow flood water or any body of water that may be contaminated.

Likewise, he asked citizens to keep food, water and garbage in containers closed to prevent contact with rodents.

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that can seriously affect the kidneys and liver and cause, meningitis, shortness of breath and bleeding.

The first symptoms of the disease include: fever, headache, muscle aches, red eyes, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, jaundice (yellow skin and eyes), rash and cough.

"You need to seek immediate medical assistance and tell the doctor the symptoms you present and if you have been in contact with water or materials that could be infected for an adequate evaluation and timely treatment"Mellado concluded.

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