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Public Health Dept monitors Clarendon community after Leptospirosis infection

Published:Sunday | April 12, 2015 | 12:00 AM

The Public Health Department is now monitoring an area in Clarendon where two men are believed to have been infected with Leptospirosis.

Health Inspector for the parish Michael Ricketts declined to name the community, but says it’s believed that they contracted the disease from infected rats.

Ricketts says measures are already in place to control the rat population there.

According to the Centres for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States, Leptospirosis is an infectious disease caused by bacteria that could lead
to possible fatal infection of the kidney, liver, brain, lung or heart.

The CDC says it can be contracted through exposure to the urine or body fluid of infected animals.

Speaking to the Gleaner-Power 106 News Centre Ricketts said health officials are still awaiting the results of lab tests conducted on the two men to confirm whether they were infected with the disease.

However, he says both men have since been treated for Leptospirosis and are now doing well.

The Clarendon health inspector is warning that Leptospirosis can be fatal if it is incorrectly diagnosed or not detected and treated within 21 days.

Noting that its symptoms are similar to the flu, Ricketts appealed to residents across the parish to visit the nearest hospital or health centre and get tested if they experience any such symptoms.

Addressing the Clarendon Parish Council at its monthly sitting last week, he said in addition to rats the disease can also be transmitted by domesticated animals such as cats and dogs.