LEPTOSPIROSIS is a serious illness that could lead to death.
This was the message from communicable diseases national advisor Dr Mike Kama as parts of Fiji experienced flooding because of heavy rain.
"The number of leptospirosis cases, as shown in the past as a result of flooding, rises," Dr Kama said.
"This is quite a serious illness for those who get the severe form of the disease. It basically can result in haemorrhage, largely in the lungs and can affect the kidneys â€" it distorts the normal function and results in death."
Dr Kama said leptospirosis normally affected those living in rural areas where flooding occurred.
"This disease can be transmitted through several reservoirs, and the reservoirs are usually animals â€" cattle and pigs are the main carriers of the disease.
"We find those animals mostly in the rural areas. Those who get most affected are mostly those on farms."
Dr Kama advised those living in low-lying rural areas to wear protective footwear and clothing.
"Don't swim in waters that may be contaminated by animal urine.
"If you have cuts and bruises, especially on the legs, please put a plaster over them â€" cover them up."
Dr Kama said when animals urinated in the water, the water became contaminated and was a reservoir for leptospirosis.