It’s seem that our youngsters who get selected to join National Services, are facing threat of contracting leptospirosis.

The latest fatality case may due to leptospirosis infection. The disease is endemic in Malaysia. The large chunk of activities of NS is involving outdoor training including jungle tracking and thus exposing to risk of contact water or food contaminated with urine of rat which containing leptospirosis.

One of the preventive is to have all the NS trainees to be covered with antibiotics.

Cochrane review summary:

Leptospirosis is an infectious disease transmitted by animals. Two randomised clinical trials have examined doxycycline for preventing leptospirosis. One of the trials had excellent methodological quality, but only studied male soldiers during jungle training. The other trial examined a small group of men and women living in an area with high risk of flooding, but had a low methodological quality. There is only sufficient clinical evidence in one clinical situation (soldiers who train in endemic areas with high risk of exposure) that intervention with doxycycline helps in preventing leptospirosis

The review had specifically pointed out in NS training environement wchich similar to soldier training, prophylaxis with doxycycline will be able in preventing leptospirosis.

MOH, Ministry of Defense, infection experts and NS officers should joined hands to tackle the issue and ensure NS trainees be safe from the threat.