DepEd urges schools to take proactive stance vs leptospirosisTuesday, September 18, 2012 02:42 AM Views : 400GMA News
With the prospect of more cyclones bringing more rain and floods, the Department of Education pushed schools to take a proactive stance against leptospirosis and water-borne diseases.
DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro stressed the need to take the upper hand against leptospirosis, which he said may become prevalent during the rainy season.
"We also enjoin the student governments, scouts and youth leaders to create awareness on the ill effects of leptospirosis and other water-borne diseases," Luistro said in a news release posted on the Office of the President website Monday.
The DepEd issued a memorandum urging school authorities to take precautionary measures to arrest the increasing cases of leptospirosis and other diseases in schools caused by floods.
DepEd Memo No 153 mobilizes health and nutrition personnel in schools to disseminate information on how the public can prevent contracting diseases prevalent during the rainy season.
Luistro also urged school heads to use school organs, classroom discussion and even Parent Teachers Association (PTA) meetings in disseminating information.
Also, school officials were urged to report to local government units and municipal health officers cases of leptospirosis among their students and teachers.
"It will surely help our cause if we maintain a clean environment and a well-informed citizenry on the prevention of diseases," Luistro said.
The US National Library of Medicine said leptospirosis is "a rare and severe bacterial infection that occurs when people are exposed to certain environments." These environments include floodwaters contaminated with animal urine.
The following activities may put people at more risk of getting leptospirosis:
- Occupations such as those done by farmers, ranchers, slaughterhouse workers, trappers, veterinarians, loggers, sewer workers, rice field workers, and military personnel
- Fresh water swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and trail biking in warm areas
- Exposure to pet dogs, domesticated livestock, rainwater catchment systems, and infected rodents
Its symptoms can take two to 26 days or an average of 10 days to develop, and may include:
- Dry cough
- Muscle pain
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Shaking chills
- Abdominal pain
- Abnormal lung sounds
- Bone pain
- Enlarged lymph glands
- Enlarged spleen or liver
- Joint aches
- Muscle rigidity
- Muscle tenderness
- Skin rash
- Sore throat