Leptospirosis is transmitted to humans who are exposed to infected rat urine

Leptospirosis is often transmitted to humans who are exposed to infected rat urine

There are suspected cases of Leptospirosis in the Roseau Health district and Chief Environmental Health Officer Anthony Scotland said it is cause for concern, especially after the passing of Tropical Storm Erika.

Leptospirosis is a serious preventable bacterial disease most often transmitted to humans who are exposed to the infected urine of rats, dogs and other mammals.

According to Scotland, conditions are conducive for breeding and transmission of deadly diseases following the passage of the storm, which left havoc in its wake.

“We are concerned at Environmental Health because we have an environmental health situation where there are more mosquito breeding in the environment and also you have conditions ideal for the transmission of Leptospirosis,” he said in an interview with state-owned DBS Radio.

“We have three suspected cases of Leptospirosis and the officers are basically out there investigating the cases and to see how we can put some control measures in place to prevent the spread of that disease,” Scotland stated.

Symptoms of the disease include fever, chills, sudden headaches, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, muscle pain particularly in the muscles in the calves and lower back.

The following measures can be followed to prevent exposure to the disease:

•    Avoid contact with surfaces and water sources that may be contaminated with rat urine
•    Keep your home and its surroundings clean and free of garbage
•    Avoid leaving food where rats or rodents could get to it
•    Deny access to rats by erecting rodent-proof fences and screens and ensure possible household entry places are blocked off
•    Farmers should ensure that animal feeds are stored in rat-proof containers
•    If you work in a job where you may come into contact with a contaminated surface or water source, ensure you wear protective clothing, shoes, and gloves and to report to a health facility if they suspect they have any of the above symptoms