THE DEPARTMENT of Health (DoH) reported a 62% drop in leptospirosis cases nationwide from January to August 3 this year with 981 patients recorded from 2,618 in the same period last year. Data released on Wednesday by the DoH’s Epidemiology Bureau show deaths due to the Leptospira virus also decreased by over 50% to 113 from 266 during the period in review. Leptospirosis is transmitted from water or moist surfaces contaminated with urine and feces of rodents and vermin that have the virus. The DoH advises the public to avoid wading and swimming in waters, such as floods, that could be contaminated with the virus. — Gillian M. Cortez