Malaysian health authorities have temporarily closed down the popular Jeram Toi waterfall and recreational park in Seremban after four teenagers contracted leptospirosis after swimming in the waterfall.
The four victims, aged between 15 and 18 years were down with high fever several days after they visited the recreational park. However, their conditions have been reported to be stable after receiving treatment from Tuanku Ja’afar Hospital. According to The Star,
Leptospirosis had claimed 28 lives nationwide as of 24th of August 2014. Leptospira, the bacteria that causes leptospirosis are usually spread through urine or other bodily fluids from infected animals such as rats. The Leptospira bacteria can survive in water or soil for weeks to months.
As the monsoon season is here, homeowners are advised to take proactive measures against rats because they are known to infiltrate into houses as rain washes away their natural habitat. Besides spreading diseases, rats are also a potential source of allergens. Their droppings, saliva and urine have been found to trigger allergic reactions.