Fijian authorities urge public to boil drinking water

Residents living in low sanitation and farming areas in Fiji have been advised to take precautionary measures such as boiling drinking water in light of the increasing number of leptospirosis cases.

Fiji Medical Association President, Doctor Basharat Munshi said the bacteria that cause leptospirosis is spread through the urine of infected animals, which can get into sources of water or soil.

Doctor Munshi added that people relying on boreholes, wells, and creeks for water are most at risk of being infected with leptospirosis.

“If you don’t boil this water- the magic thing about boiling water it kills bacteria and pathogens. So if you drink non-boiled water from these sources which are potentially contaminated with the bacteria then you will get the disease.”

He stressed the need for people to avoid floodwaters which could potentially be contaminated with animal urine.

Doctor Munshi said while leptospirosis can cause a wide range of symptoms, some people may have no symptoms at all.

He also urged people who may have been infected to seek medical attention as the lack of proper treatment could lead to months of recovery.