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The Ministry of Health and Wellness has noted a reported increase in the cases of Leptospirosis.

Although increases in the number cases of Leptospirosis is not unusual after periods of heavy rains or flooding it remains an issue of concern to health authorities.

According to the Acting National Epidemiologist Dr Gemma Cherry, Leptospirosis is a disease caused by a bacteria which can be found in some animals including rats, cattle, pigs, horses and dogs. People can also become ill if they are in contact with urine, water, food or soil through breaks in the skin, mouth, eyes or nose.

This condition can be treated effectively with antibiotics if diagnosed on time. Seeking medical care early when these symptoms are noticed can prevent the disease from worsening.

People at greatest risk of getting Leptospirosis are farmers and agricultural workers, sanitation workers and sewer workers. However, anyone exposed to rat contaminated water and soil is also at risk of contracting the disease.

In the meantime, the Ministry of Health has an established Rodent Reduction Programme which will be further enhanced to respond to the current increase in Leptospirosis. The ministry will also be working with a number of agencies including Ministry of Agriculture, farmer organizations and local government in order to heighten awareness of the disease to people most at risk.

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