DoH cautions public about possible contaminated water or soil
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — With recent heavy rains — and also American Samoa now in hurricane season, causing lots of rain — the Health Department “highly recommends the public be cautious of contaminated water or soil.”
This is according to Health director Motusa Tuileama Nua, in the latest DoH health advisory issued late last week, covering several important health matters including Leptospirosis, which health officials says is a bacteria disease that is spread through urine of infected animals such as pigs, rats, dogs, cats, etc.
According to DoH, children are at risk of Leptospirosis if they play in streams and muddy waters during and after the rain. Additionally, all pet/ animal owners should take extra precautionary measures when handling animals during this time.
The public is encouraged to use gloves and closed shoes when handling or feeding animals, wash your hands thoroughly after handling pets. Furthermore, control the rat population in and around your home to avoid catching Leptospirosis.
Recently, during heavy rains, a mother of two told Samoa News that she observed rats roaming around the family backyard or heading towards the family home. “Now we have cats as pets at our home, to fight off rats while also making sure that there’s nothing around that would attract rats,” said the mother, who asked not be identified by name but wanted to share her story to help other mothers and parents with children.
Meanwhile, DoH advised families with pets, to take care of the pets, as “they too are members of your family.”
“Taking good care of your pets can decrease the chance of the animals getting sick and potentially passing it on to the rest of the family,” DoH further advised. “Make sure they have adequate food and clean water each day.”
“Caring for your pet can help manage stress in a positive manner,” said DoH, which asked the public to contact the Veterinary Clinic at 699-9445 if there are health questions pertaining to pets.