KOTA KINABALU (Bernama) – Residents in Membakut, Beaufort and Sipitang are advised not to panic over the spreading of news that claimed leptospirosis is detected in those districts.
Beaufort Hospital director Dr K Sutharsan said to date there was no confirmed cases of leptospirosis in the districts and the eight individuals admitted to that hospital recently was only suspected of being infected.
“The spreading of this inaccurate information has resulted in an increased of people coming to the hospital for blood test even though they do not have any symptoms of leptospirosis,” he told Bernama.
He said microscopic agglutination test (MAT) needed to be done first to determine whether a person was infected of the disease but usually the test results took a long time.
“To speed up the test results within a short period of time, a rapid leptospirosis and various medical tests will be conducted to a patient to confirm whether a person is infected or not,” he said.
Dr Sutharsan said many people still assumed that rats were the cause of leptospirosis, which could also be spread via other animals such as dogs, deer, rabbits, hedgehogs, cows, sheep, cats, goats, horses and sea mammals.
“In fact, flood victims are also exposed to the disease, therefore, those in temporary shelters in Sabah are given information on leptospirosis and various preventive measures, including personal hygiene during and after floods,” he said.
He advised the public not to disseminate false information on leptospirosis.