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Biological Health Hazard – Leptospirosis Outbreak (Fatal): Public Health Threat – Dominican Republic


Published Date: 2016-12-19 09:37:12
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Leptospirosis – Dominican Republic (02): fatal, more cases
Archive Number: 20161219.4707668

Date: Wed 14 Dec 2016
Source: Nice People Networking [edited]

National Health Service (SNS) director Nelson Rodriguez Monegro says that in 2016 so far, 41 people have died and 560 have been infected with leptospirosis, which now requires strong action in response to the threat to the public.

Rodriguez Monegro attributed the increase in the incidence of the disease to people wading in flooded waters and drinking polluted water following the heavy rains in the north of the country. A total of 27 people have been hospitalized with the disease and 4 deaths have been reported in the Cibao region [northern part of the country]. In Santiago, 14 people are reported to have contracted the disease, mainly children who are receiving treatment at the Arturo Grullon Children’s Hospital, the Cabral y Baez Hospital, and private clinics.

Rodriguez Monegro, Deputy Minister Mercedes Rodriguez, and Regional Director Austria de la Rosa have met with the provincial hospital directors to discuss the situation and define strategies.

Communicated by:

[Leptospirosis in the Dominican Republic was reported previously in multiple ProMED-mail posts (see archives below). In 2006, it was attributed to “sanitary problems and to deficiencies in municipal garbage collection.” Inadequate disposal of trash and debris provides a suitable habitat for rat infestation in urban settings.

_Leptospira_, the bacteria that cause leptospirosis, are most commonly carried in the urine of chronically infected rats, but a wide range of other mammals including mice, voles, dogs, deer, rabbits, hedgehogs, cows, pigs, and sheep are also able to carry and transmit the disease.

Outbreaks of leptospirosis in the Dominican Republic frequently follow heavy rainfall and ensuing contaminated fresh water flooding. At the recent TEPHINET/REDSUR Scientific Conference held in Ciudad del Este Paraguay last week (11-16 Dec 2016) there was a discussion on the current increase in rains in the Dominican Republic that was contributing to increases in disease incidence such as leptospirosis in the northern part of the Dominican Republic, confirming the above media report.

For discussions of leptospirosis, see ProMED-mail posts Leptospirosis – Dominican Republic: fatal, susp 20121114.1409325 and Leptospirosis – Dominican Republic 20071124.3804.

Maps of the Dominican Republic can be seen at and – Mods.ML/MPP]

See Also

Leptospirosis – Dominican Republic: fatal, susp 20161203.4673907

Leptospirosis – Dominican Republic: fatal, susp 20121114.1409325
Leptospirosis – Netherlands ex Dominican Republic, 2011 20120331.1086285

Leptospirosis – Dominican Republic 20071124.3804

Leptospirosis – Dominican Republic 20060110.0085

Leptospirosis – Germany ex Dominican Rep. (02) 20010701.1258
Leptospirosis – Germany ex Dominican Rep. 20010615.1154
and other items in the archives

A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseases

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