Sugar belt dwellers warned about leptospirosis
Health, promotion and education officer at the Westmoreland Health Department, Gerald Miller, is urging people who live in sugar cane areas to be careful of leptospirosis.
"We had some suspected cases in Westmoreland last year, which prompted us to have a stakeholders' meeting in the parish. What we gleaned from the meeting is that the suspected cases were from the areas where sugar cane is concentrated," he said.
Miller, who was speaking at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) 'Think Tank', at the agency's Montego Bay Regional Office last week, said the matter is not a cause for serious alarm. However, he said the health department has taken a decision to be more proactive in the fight against leptospirosis.
According to him, rats tend to flee to residential homes during the time of harvest, especially when fire is brought into play in the cane fields.
"We have to be constantly sharing with the community the dangers of rats and the leptospirosis bacteria. We are going to roll out a sensitisation programme into these communities. We don't want a disease, that can be treated, to be killing persons in the 21st century, so we need to give persons the information to protect themselves," Miller said.