Health warning issued

The Ministry of Health has issued a warning about a potentially deadly disease spread through the urine of infected animals.

The warning is contained in a public notice signed by the Frances Brebner, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Health.

“The Ministry of Health wishes to warn the public of an infectious disease spread through the urine of infected animals which carry these bacteria,” it reads. “These animals include pigs, cats, dogs and rodents such as rats. The disease may lead to death.”

According to the Ministry, humans can become infected through contact with water, soil or food contaminated with the urine of infected animals.

“It is advised that the public take preventive measures to minimize the risks of becoming infected by;  

• Keeping all food and water for consumption covered securely to prevent risks of contamination.

• Ensuring that protective clothing, gloves and foot ware are always worn by those exposed to risks of infection through contaminated water or soil.

• Washing hands with soap and water before preparing food and after working outside.

• Ensuring that all drinking water is boiled.

• Avoiding swimming in rivers or areas where recent flooding has occurred.

• Ensuring proper rubbish and waste water disposal to avoid rat and other rodent infestations.”

Asked if there are already cases where people have been diagnosed with the disease, Dr. Saine Va’ai said yes.

 “There are cases but I can’t go further on that point at this time,” she said, adding that the Ministry would call a Media conference to address the issue.

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