Philippine city offers bounties for dead rats

A Philippine city is offering bounties for dead rats in an effort to prevent a repeat of a deadly epidemic spread by rodent urine, an official said Wednesday.

Olongapo residents are being paid 10 pesos (23 US cents) for each adult rat captured and killed, and five pesos for juveniles, to battle the bacterial , city health administrator Jaime Alcano said.

Olongapo mayor Rolen Paulino came up with the idea for the anti-rodent campaign, which Alcano said has no known precedents in the Philippines, as a public relations exercise to educate people about the disease.

Residents have only swapped 44 dead rats for cash since the month-long campaign began last week, Alcano said, but he insisted the headlines generated by the bounties are more important than how many rodents are killed.

"The success of our campaign does not rest solely on the number of captured. This is just part of our awareness campaign against the disease," he told AFP.

Leptospirosis is an infectious bacterial disease that lives in animal urine and is often transmitted during annual flooding that plagues many parts of the Philippines.

People catch it by walking in floods or having infected water touch cuts on their skin.

In mild cases it causes flu-like symptoms, but in its most severe form, known as Weil's disease, it can cause organ failure and massive internal bleeding.

Between five and 30 percent of infected people die, according to the World Health Organization.

Olongapo, a city of about 200,000 people two hours' drive northwest of Manila, was swamped by floods in September last year that triggered a leptospirosis epidemic.

More than 300 residents were infected over the following month, killing 10, Alcano said.

Alcano said all Olongapo teachers are to undergo seminars on how avoid catching the disease, so they can pass the information on to their students.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Six dead in Philippine epidemic caused by rat urine

Oct 09, 2013

A bacterial epidemic caused by water contaminated with rat urine has hit a flood-ravaged region in the northern Philippines, killing six people and overwhelming local hospitals, a health official said Wednesday.

Bacterial disease outbreak threatens metro Detroit animals

Oct 28, 2011

More than 20 cases of the life-threatening bacterial infection leptospirosis have been reported in Detroit-area dogs in the past three weeks, according to Michigan State University’s Diagnostic Center for Population ...

Recommended for you

Second bird flu case confirmed in Canada

14 hours ago

The husband of a Canadian who was diagnosed earlier this week with bird flu after returning from a trip to China has also tested positive for the virus, health officials said Friday.

What exactly is coronavirus?

20 hours ago

The conflicts in Syria and Iraq are straining public health systems and public health efforts meant to prevent and detect the spread of infectious diseases. This is generating a "perfect storm" of conditions for outbreaks. Among the infections raising concern is Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, caused by a type of coronavirus, which emerged in 2012. ...

Scientists find Ebola virus is mutating

21 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—Researchers working at Institut Pasteur in France have found that the Ebola virus is mutating "a lot" causing concern in the African countries where the virus has killed over eight thous ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.