Unlike previous years, the situation regarding leptospirosis is worrying. While generally around thirty cases were recorded each year, we are already at 41 cases in five months. Added to this, the disease led to the death of six people, which prompted the Ministry of Health to initiate various actions, including awareness campaigns around leptospirosis, but also and above all on the need to maintain a clean environment. so as not to attract rodents. According to Dr Kursheed Meethoo-Badulla, non-communicable disease coordinator, this situation follows a seasonal variable such as heavy downpours, which encourage rodents to move out of their natural habitat and closer to homes as their dens have been flooded. She also adds that Mauritius is not the only country to record an increase in leptospirosis, this situation being global like that of dengue.

The fight against leptospirosis, mainly transmitted by rats in Mauritius, is however not the sole responsibility of the Ministry of Health, underlines Dr Vasantrao Gujadhur, former director of health services. He thus pleads for joint actions, as is the case for dengue. Dr Meethoo-Badulla confirms: “As is the case with dengue, various ministries and public and private sector stakeholders are working together to take appropriate measures to combat the proliferation of rodents, which are the vectors of leptospirosis in Mauritius,” she said.

Quality of diagnosis

It is clear that despite the various measures taken to combat rodents, it is not uncommon to find them in the gutters, whether in the vicinity of markets and fairs in towns or villages. To this end, a large-scale meeting was held at the town hall of Port-Louis to review the situation and decide on the measures to be put in place to combat the presence of rats around the various markets and fairs in the area. city, Lord Mayor Yousouf Nujurally told us during a brief interview.

Dr Gujadhur, however, questions the quality of diagnosis and treatment of people with leptospirosis. He explains that the mortality rate for severe leptospirosis is 10% worldwide, according to figures from the World Health Organization (WHO). However, it turns out that the country has experienced six deaths out of the 41 cases officially recorded since January 11, which gives a fatality rate of 14.6%. This figure is troubling for Dr Gujadhur. “Are there cases that have not been diagnosed? » he asks himself.

Dr Meethoo-Badulla points out that, as with almost all illnesses, many cases go unrecorded because they are not reported by patients who self-medicate. Thus, the ministry can only communicate on cases that have been reported or diagnosed. She emphasizes the importance of seeing a doctor if you experience symptoms of fever and cough. Especially since the symptoms of dengue, Covid-19, flu and leptospirosis are almost similar.

Note that the symptoms of leptospirosis are: high fever with chills, headache, muscle pain and diffuse joint pain in moderate cases. However, it can progress to kidney, liver, meningeal or pulmonary damage. In 20% of cases, it is complicated by a hemorrhagic syndrome.

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