Research Paper

Topics: Water, Water pollution, Water treatment Pages: 15 (4640 words) Published: April 6, 2013

MATRIC NO: FIS 1207-2682
DATE: 5th APRIL 2013

Leptospirosis is most common in tropical areas of the world. However, it is becoming increasingly widespread in urban areas that have low levels of sanitation, such as in poor areas of large cities in the developing world. Most cases of leptospirosis are sporadic (infrequent), although large outbreaks have been reported after flooding. Globally, it is estimated that 10 million people will get leptospirosis every year. It is difficult to estimate exactly how many people die from leptospirosis because many cases occur in parts of the developing world where causes of death are not routinely reported. In the coming years, it is anticipated that the number of cases of leptospirosis will continue to increase as a result of global warming and the expected increase in flooding. Some experts have estimated that the fatality rate from leptospirosis could be anywhere between 5 and 25%. Deaths from leptospirosis tend to be higher in countries where access to good quality healthcare is limited. In Malaysia, leptospirosis is an old disease as the very first case of human leptospirosis was discovered by Fletcher in the year 1925. This discovery indicated that leptospirosis is an endemic disease in Malaysia. Through the years, the number of cases continues to increase significantly from 2004 to 2010 with 263 cases and 20 deaths in the year of 2004, to 1976 cases and 69 deaths in the year 2010. Humid environment also favors the growth of pathogenic Spirochaetes. With tropical weather and flooding that occur frequently, Malaysians are always at risk of exposure to water and soil contamination with the urine of rats without being aware of this. This causes records of a high incidence of leptospirosis, especially after floods. Occupational targets like farm workers, campers, hikers, veterinarians, drainage cleaners and others who are frequently introduced to disease-infected environments are at a higher risk of acquiring this disease. According to the statistics from the Ministry of Health, in 2006, an estimated 527 cases of leptospirosis is recorded and in the following year 2007, an increase in cases is found with a total of 929 reported cases. The Ministry of Health had reported that the number of confirmed cases had increased from around 263 in 2004 to 1418 in 2009. Statistics released by the Ministry of Health, Malaysia, it is stated that a gradual increase in the cases of leptospirosis especially in the states of Perak, Selangor and Pahang. Recently in 2010 as well, the country was taken aback by the death of 6 individuals due to leptospirosis in Hutan Lipur Lubuk Yu, Maran. In Sibu, the bacteria causing the deadly leptospirosis disease have been detected on august 2010.] There were two places affected by this infection which is Permai Road recreational lake and at the ponds at the Junaco Park National Service Training Camp. Besides that, three national service camps in Perak have been ordered to stop water activities to prevent leptospirosis. Initial investigation showed that the three camps which is Nilam Ehsan at Bidor, Gemilang Leadership at Gopeng and at Kuala Kangsar might be contaminated with the bacteria of leptospirosis on august 2010. Further test are being carried out as a preventive measure to prevent the spread of the disease. A recent wave beginning in July 2011 when eight people, who were among a search and rescue group looking for a drowning victim in a recreational area in eastern Pahang state have died of the disease and another water-borne bacteria. The latest victim was a 17-year-old boy who died after swimming in northern Kedah state. Other than that, three popular picnic spots in Kedah have been ordered to close temporarily in the wake of an outbreak of leptospirosis. The three spots are Puncak Janing in...
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