Vanuatu records two new deaths from leptospirosis

Leptospirosis has claimed the lives of two people in Vanuatu this month.

The Ministry of Health said the death toll has increased to five so far this year.

Three people died in Santo, one fatal case is from Erromango and the other is from Efate.

The MOH said two deaths were clinically diagnosed and three were laboratory confirmed.

Two new cases from Santo and Malekula were reported recently.

A total of 40 cases have been reported in the country since January this year.

The outbreak was exacerbated by the two tropical cyclones in March. From the 6 to 16 March, there were 10 new cases confirmed clinically or through laboratory testing.

The majority of cases have been in Santo and Efate islands, with a few cases in Malekula, Pentecost, Malo and Erromango.

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease. People (and animals) can get infected when they are exposed to the urine of infected animals.

They can also get infected from water, soil, or food contaminated with infected animal urine.

Leptospirosis bacteria can enter the body through skin or mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth).