Watch out for landslides, leptospirosis: DOH

By on September 13, 2017


FILE: Seal of Department of Health (DOH) (Photo by Department of Health - Official Site of the DOH, Public Domain)
FILE: Seal of Department of Health (DOH) (Photo by Department of Health – Official Site of the DOH, Public Domain)

MANILA – With Tropical Depression Maring dumping heavy rains in various parts of Luzon on Tuesday, the health department issued twin advisories, cautioning the public against landslides and leptospirosis.

“Landslides happen when there are unstable slopes during or after heavy rains or droughts, earthquakes, or volcanic eruptions. Mountainous and sloping areas are more likely to experience (landslides),” the Department of Health (DOH) said in a post in its official Facebook account.

The department reminded of the importance of finding out whether or not landslides have occurred in an area.

“If you live in an area vulnerable to landslides, consider evacuating soon. Be wary of holes or bare spots on hillsides, it said in the advisory.

The DOH suggested that people listen for rumbling sounds, a sign of an approaching landslide; stay away from areas where a landslide has just occurred; and stay alert when driving along sloping areas.

“Check weather updates. Listen to the radio or TV for emergency information,” it said, adding that for emergencies, call the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) at hotlines (02) 911-1406, (02) 912-2665, and (02) 912-5668.

In another advisory, the DOH warned people against exposure to floodwaters, especially when they have an open wound, as they could contract leptospirosis, which comes from the urine or feces of infected animals, such as rats.

Its symptoms include fever, muscle pain, severe headache, and redness of eyes. In severe cases, it can affect the liver, kidneys and brain, and could be fatal.

To avoid leptospirosis, refrain from swimming or wading in floodwaters, especially when one has cuts or abrasions on the skin, or wear boots if wading cannot be avoided, the DOH said in the advisory.

In a previous interview, DOH spokesperson, Dr. Eric Tayag said it is important to keep one’s house and its surroundings clean, and to get rid of rats by poisoning them and by disposing of garbage, which attracts them.

Consult a doctor at the onset of symptoms, especially if one has been exposed to floodwaters or contaminated soil, he added. (DOH advisories)