Consult doctor, don’t self medicate vs. leptospirosis: DOH

By Leilani Junio

MANILA – Health Secretary Francisco Duque III has advised the public to immediately consult a physician if they see symptoms of leptospirosis, noting to never attempt to self-medicate.

“Let us not self-medicate because we are talking about a prescription antibiotic here,” said Duque during his visit on Tuesday to leptospirosis patients confined at the East Avenue Medical Center (EAMC) in Quezon City.

He said doctors should still assess if the patient would need to buy antibiotic to treat the infection.

Those who were exposed will experience symptoms like a headache, fever, vomiting, and redness of the eyes.

Duque said the Department of Health is discouraging the taking of antibiotic without prescription since it can lead to antimicrobial resistance and even internal organ damage.

He said doctors can then give the dosage of prophylaxis at different intervals, depending on the level of exposure of the individuals that may take them depending on the level of risk.

Dr. Daisy Tagarda, Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Disease (PSMID) diplomate, shared Duque’s sentiments, saying it is best to consult a doctor before taking any medication to counter the infection caused by the leptospirosis bacteria.

“The most effective prevention of leptospirosis is avoidance of exposure. But if we don’t have a choice, we can take prophylaxis to decrease the chances of incidences,” said Tagarda.

She said they do not advise the medicine to those who have allergic reactions, pregnant women, and among pediatric patients.

“It can cause yellowish or discoloration of the teeth of children and even of the baby in the womb,” she said. (PNA)
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