There is a small epidemic of leptospirosis in Dominica, the Environmental Health Department has revealed.

The prevalence of the disease is believed to have increased in Dominica by rats and authorities are describing the situation as critical.

There were 14 cases of the disease in 2010, a significant increase from other years, Chief Environmental Health Officer Anthony
Scotland said.

“We are averaging almost three rats per person according to a survey that has been conducted recently. We suspect that these rats are contributing to the spread of leptospirosis in the country,” Anthony noted.

He said before 2010 Dominica recorded very few cases of the disease.

“We were just used to getting one case but we have seen actually a small epidemic of the disease in Dominica,” Scotland said.

The Environmental Health Department said it’s not taking the issue lightly. A campaign to manage rodents in Dominica is now in its second phase. Environmental health officials are starting off the programme as a pilot project in the Roseau health district.

“Part of the program is setting the rat baits, putting down your bait stations and applying rodenticide to them. Also we have ongoing clean-up campaigns of all the blocks,” Scotland said.