Eight deaths during outbreak of leptospirosis

EIGHT people have died from leptospirosis since January this year.

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services declared an outbreak of leptospirosis for the Central Division on January 29, this year.

In a statement on Friday, the ministry confirmed that eights deaths were recorded during this outbreak period in the Central Division.

According to the ministry, five of these deaths occurred between the months of January and April, while the other three deaths were recorded shortly after the adverse weather experienced during the Easter period.

“In light of this, the public has been urged to prevent themselves from getting leptospirosis.

This includes practices such as not swimming in flooded waters after heavy rainfall, wearing closed shoes when working on farms and flooded waters and following good sanitation and hygiene practices such as thoroughly washing utensils and food before use and storing food safely away from rats and other rodents,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said they were continuing to monitor communicable diseases such as leptospirosis, typhoid, dengue fever and influenza in the country.

Members of the public have also been reminded that communicable diseases were preventable and people should adhere to the messages relayed to them by the ministry.

The ministry said this included simple health habits such as proper hand washing practices after using the toilet and before eating, boiling unsafe water before drinking, avoiding swimming in flooded waters as well as destroying mosquito breeding sites.

“The combined effort of the health authorities and the general public in advocating safe health practices and maintaining clean environments is expected to minimise the risks of the sources of such diseases and assist them in their efforts to reduce the spread of communicable diseases.”

The ministry has also advised Fijians to seek medical attention early to minimise the risks of developing complications as it had been noted in the part that patients usually presented themselves late to health facilities with advanced stages of these diseases.

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