Thursday, May 23, 2013

Public advised not to visit places with leptospirosis cases

 New Straits Times
(note: Leptosprosis is not a virus, it is a a bacterial disease)

NIBONG TEBAL: The public are advised not to visit, temporarily, places that have been detected as the source of leptospirosis cases to avoid the serious viral disease.

Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahya said this advice should be taken seriously as the disease caused by viral infection through the urine of rats could be fatal.
"Areas that have been confirmed to be the source of this viral infection should be closed to the public for six months to a year to ensure that they are really free of the virus," he said after officiating at the state-level Teachers Day celebration, here, today.
Newspapers reported yesterday that the Bayu Waterfall in Asam Jawa, Baling, Kedah had been temporarly closed after it was suspected to be contaminated with the leptospirosis virus that caused the death of a man who picnicked there early this month.
The victim, Abu Hanifah Redzuan, 23, a film production crew member, died at 4.30pm last Saturday at Sultan Abdul Halim Hospital in Sungai Petani, after having high fever for more than a week.
Six family members of the victim who also bathed at the Bayu Waterfall on that day were also admitted to hospital for treatment and monitoring.
Dr Hilmi said recreational areas or picnic spots found to have a lot of rats should be cleaned up regularly to prevent infection from the disease.
"If the river water we swim or bathe in is contaminated with rat urine, the effect can be serious (As a doctor), I myself had treated a leptospirosis patient whose condition was very serious and life-threatening," he said. -- BERNAMA  

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