The Banyumas Health Agency has found six cases of leptospirosis spread by rats in the Central Java regency.
“We had never found leptospirosis cases in Banyumas in the past so we thought that it did not exist here. But now we’ve found six cases after validating data in several hospitals in Banyumas regency,” the agency’s head of disease control R. Dian Andiyono said on Thursday as quoted by Antara news agency.
According to Dian, those who have contracted the disease live in Cindaga village, Kebasen district; Gerduren village, Purwojati district; Gumelar village, Gumelar district; Kramat village, Kembaran district; Danaraja village, Banyumas district; and Losari village, Rowalo district.
He said the regency had reported the cases to the Central Java Health Agency on Monday.
He said leptospirosis, caused by Leptospira sp., could be carried by pigs, goats, cats, dogs, rats, snakes and birds.
But the cases in Banyumas agency were spread by rats, he said.
Dian said the agency had set up 200 rat traps in two neighborhood units (RT) in Danaraja village that the agency used as samples for its survey and captured 28 rats.
Symptoms of leptospirosis are similar to those of dengue fever, such as fever with initial shivers, severe headache, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, change in the color of skin and the whites of the eyes, muscle pain mostly in the calf area, diarrhea and a skin rash, according to Dian.
He said people with the disease could cause enlarged liver, renal failure, meningitis, inflammation of the spinal cord and respiratory problems. It could also lead to death.
“We are advising people to immediately go to a nearby hospital if experiencing such symptoms,” Dian said. (mtq)