Health Dept. reports 26 cases of leptospirosis
By The Star Staff
The island Health Department’s top medical officer, Dr. Iris Cardona, confirmed Tuesday that the number of suspected cases of leptospirosis in Puerto Rico rose to 26.
“Twenty-six in total. They are cases reported throughout the health regions and are under investigation,” Cardona said in a radio interview. “We call on all residents of Puerto Rico [to understand] that this is a disease, it is an infection that is treatable and that the consequences can be avoided if treated early. We alert health institutions to be vigilant.”
The increase in cases was seven, from the 19 cases that were reported late Monday after the STAR went to press. The total number includes people of all ages, Cardona said, adding that the incubation period can be five to 30 days.
She reiterated that leptospirosis is a treatable disease, but must be treated in time.
Symptoms of the disease include fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, jaundice (yellow eyes and skin), rash and red eyes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.
The CDC reports that leptospirosis can be contracted by drinking or having contact with water, including swimming and rafting or kayaking, or land that has been contaminated by urine or body fluids from infected animals.