Welcome to the South African Society of Travel Medicine (SASTM) website.

The SASTM’s Mission is to guide the profession in all aspects relating to the practice of travel medicine, liaise with the travel industry, consult with relevant authorities, advise the public and collaborate nationally and internationally on all aspects relating to Travel Medicine. Click here to learn more.

SASTM Newsflash - Leptospirosis - Philippines flooding


Group Email







The Department of Health-National Capital Region (DOH-NCR) fast tracks its report on cases of leptospirosis. DOH-NCR Regional Director Eduardo C Janairo has directed public and private hospitals in Metro Manila to immediately submit to them reports on registered cases of the disease.


Earlier, Health Secretary Enrique T Ona directed DOH-NCR to closely monitor cases of the disease since its number of cases peaked 5 days after the occurrence of continuous heavy rains and flash flooding.


"We must prevent the occurrence of an outbreak of this deadly disease that is why reporting of suspected cases is a must. Health and safety of everyone in the region should be paramount and every health worker is enjoined to do their part in reporting cases," Ona said.


Janairo disclosed that most hospitals have already begun submitting reports as they immediately organized and directed surveillance officers of the different hospitals to make a real-time report and directly submit it to the regional office in preparation for necessary logistics and manpower in case an epidemic occurs in Metro Manila.


"With immediate information at hand, we can instantly send logistic and manpower support to further avert any health contingencies that may occur within the region," Janairo added.


Based on DOH-NCR's Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (RESU), a total of 145 leptospirosis cases were reported from 1 Jan to 17 Aug 2013. The figure is 78 percent lower compared to the same period last year [2012], with 655 cases. Ages of cases ranged from 1 to 82 years old, wherein males were mostly affected with 81 percent, and most of the cases were from the City of Manila. There were also deaths reported.


Communicated by: ProMED-mail


Leptospirosis characteristically follows flooding from heavy rain. Manila, the Philippine capital, is prone to floods. The city is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay in a catch basin between Manila Bay and Laguna de Bay (or Laguna Lake) to the southeast. Almost the entire city sits on top of centuries of alluvial deposits built by the waters of the Pasig River, which runs from the Laguna de Bay to Manila Bay and bisects the city. Flooding occurs almost every year in this low-lying coastal delta area during the rainy season from May to November; August is the rainiest month. The city was built on waterways, canals, and creeks that have for centuries channeled floodwaters into Manila Bay. Deforestation has allowed the rainwater to rush down denuded slopes into the Pasig River and many of the waterways and canals that would drain rainwater have been cemented or paved over; many of the remaining ones are clogged with garbage and are poorly maintained.



South African Society of Travel Medicine (SASTM)

Phone: +27 (011) 025 3297
Fax: +27 087 9411350 / 1
E-mail: admin@sastm.org.za
Website: www.sastm.org.za
Postal address: SASTM, PO Box 8216, Greenstone, 1616, South Africa
Physical address: SASTM, 27 Linksfield Road Block 2 a Dunvegan Edenvale
Registered as a Nonprofit Organisation 063-296-NPO


The content and opinions are neither pre-screened nor endorsed by the SASTM. The content should neither be interpreted nor quoted as inherently accurate or authoritative.

The information provided in SASTM Newsflashes is collected from various news sources, health agencies and government agencies. Although the information is believed to be accurate, any express or implied warranty as to its suitability for any purpose is categorically disclaimed. In particular, this information should not be construed to serve as medical advice for any individual. The health information provided is general in nature, and may not be appropriate for all persons. Medical advice may vary because of individual differences in such factors as health risks, current medical conditions and treatment, allergies, pregnancy and breast feeding, etc. In addition, global health risks are constantly evolving and changing. International travelers should consult a qualified physician for medical advice prior to departure.

Scroll to Top