Leptospirosis outbreak feared in Agusan del Norte Province, Philippines

After 3 days of very heavy rains, the Agusan River overflowed in Butuan City, forcing the evacuation of over 16,000 people. Health authorities are concerned that the flood waters may create an outbreak of leptospirosis. Leptospirosis is acquired through skin exposure (especially if there are open wounds) to water or damp soil that has been contaminated by an infected animal's urine. For travellers, this exposure may occurs after a period of heavy rainfall or flooding. Travellers can reduce the risk of exposure to leptospirosis during floods or heavy rainfall by avoiding contact with flood waters, e.g., wearing waterproof boots and other protective clothing.

Visit our Health Library for more information on exposure to and the prevention of Leptospirosis.

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