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Mauritius - Leptospirosis outbreak 2024

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  • Mauritius - Leptospirosis outbreak 2024

    Text and image translated by Google

    A problem to take seriously

    May 7 2024 17:00
    By Hansa Nancoo​

    The press release published by the Ministry of Health on Saturday revived old concerns. Since the start of the year, the country has recorded 20 cases of leptospirosis, including five in the month of April alone. The authorities are calling for vigilance and taking precautions to prevent this disease, often transmitted by rats, from becoming fatal if undetected.

    Fever, headache, muscle pain or even vomiting... These symptoms, often confused with those of the flu, can also be those of leptospirosis. This disease is caused by bacteria, which develops in water after being contaminated by the urine of a carrying animal, most often rats. It is important to emphasize that these rodents can carry this bacteria without suffering any consequences. A simple wound in contact with contaminated water can lead to illness. Health Minister Kailesh Jagutpal recently warned of the possible progression of this disease, which could affect the kidneys, liver or lungs. He pointed out that rats can urinate on cans, cans or other containers, and if we consume them, the bacteria can affect our liver, causing jaundice, which can be fatal. The increased presence of rats is often due to the accumulation of water in our environment.

    According to Dr Vasantrao Gujadhur, leptospirosis has always been present in Mauritius. “Each year we record an average of 40 cases, with a peak of 55 cases in 2013. Although the diagnosis may seem benign, it is important to note that 10% of cases can be fatal, particularly when patients do not receive proper treatment. treatment, thus leading to their death.” To avoid contamination, the Ministry of Health calls on the public to maintain a clean environment to reduce risks. Compliance with hygiene rules is essential. For people working in sectors such as agriculture, livestock, green space maintenance and yard cleaning, etc., it is recommended to protect yourself by wearing gloves, glasses and possibly boots. It is also crucial to protect wounds, and to wash cans, cans and other containers thoroughly before use. Washing fruits and vegetables is also essential, as is protecting food from any form of contamination.

    However, the former health director raises concerns. “We wonder what measures the ministry is taking to prevent this disease, especially since some patients have reported the presence of rats in hospital wards ,” he said. Dr Gujadhur refers to the Audit report, which highlights problems with the storage of medicines, including the delay in the construction of a new building to house them since 2009. “The report also highlights the presence of rats , water leaks and animal excrement. I wonder how many rodent control officers are employed to solve the rat problem in these public facilities. Especially since food is often thrown away, especially by patients. There should be less than twenty agents in Mauritius. So, I wonder what the ministry is doing to protect its staff from this disease. Are there enough healthcare workers in hospitals to support all wards in all hospitals on the island? They have to clean the rooms, the courtyards and the blinds, among other things.”

    It should be noted that leptospirosis is present all over the world but mainly affects tropical regions. Weather conditions also appear to be conducive to the transmission of leptospirosis, as well as dengue fever.

    Reunion: cases on the rise

    In Reunion, the number of cases linked to leptospirosis continues to increase, even reaching a record level. Since the start of the year, no less than 190 cases have been recorded, according to the Regional Health Agency. Health authorities say this is an epidemic of unprecedented scale. In addition, playgrounds are now invaded by rats, which causes great concern among parents. They call on the authorities to take urgent measures to resolve this problem.

    Le communiqué publié par le ministère de la Santé, samedi, a ravivé des préoccupations anciennes. Depuis le début de l’année, le pays a enregistré 20 cas de leptospirose, dont cinq pour le seul mois d’avril. Les autorités appellent à l...


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    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela

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    Ministère de la Santé et du Bien-être
    3j ·​

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    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela