Tweet 81 Views no discussions HealthLifestyle Preventing Leptospirosis by: – November 22, 2017 Share Share Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects humans and animals. It is caused by bacteria of the genus Leptospira. In humans, it can cause a wide range of symptoms, some of which may be mistaken for other diseases. Some infected persons, however, may have no symptoms at all.Without treatment, Leptospirosis can lead to kidney damage, meningitis (inflammation of the membrane around the brain and spinal cord), liver failure, respiratory distress, and even death.InfectionThe bacteria that cause leptospirosis are spread through the urine of infected animals, which can get into water or soil and can survive there for weeks to months. Many different kinds of wild and domestic animals carry the bacterium.These can include, but are not limited to:CattlePigsHorsesDogsRodentsWild animalsWhen these animals are infected, they may have no symptoms of the disease.Infected animals may continue to excrete the bacteria into the environment continuously or every once in a while, for a few months up to several years.Humans can become infected through:Contact with urine (or other body fluids, except saliva) from infected animals.Contact with water, soil, or food contaminated with the urine of infected animals.The bacteria can enter the body through skin or mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth), especially if the skin is broken from a cut or scratch. Drinking contaminated water can also cause infection. Outbreaks of leptospirosis are usually caused by exposure to contaminated water, such as floodwaters. Person to person transmission is rare.Signs and SymptomsIn humans, Leptospirosis can cause a wide range of symptoms, including:High feverHeadacheChillsMuscle achesVomitingJaundice (yellow skin and eyes)Red eyesAbdominal painDiarrheaRashMany of these symptoms can be mistaken for other diseases. In addition, some infected persons may have no symptoms at all.The time between a person’s exposure to a contaminated source and becoming sick is 2 days to 4 weeks. Illness usually begins abruptly with fever and other symptoms.Leptospirosis may occur in two phases:After the first phase (with fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, vomiting, or diarrhea) the patient may recover for a time but become ill again.If a second phase occurs, it is more severe; the person may have kidney or liver failure or meningitis.The illness lasts from a few days to 3 weeks or longer. Without treatment, recovery may take several months.TreatmentLeptospirosis is treated with antibiotics, such as doxycycline or penicillin, which should be given early in the course of the disease.Intravenous antibiotics may be required for persons with more severe symptoms. Persons with symptoms suggestive of leptospirosis should contact a health care provider.Risk of ExposureLeptospirosis occurs worldwide, but is most common in temperate or tropical climates. It is an occupational hazard for many people who work outdoors or with animals, such as:FarmersMine workersSewer workersSlaughterhouse workersVeterinarians and animal caretakersFish workersDairy farmersMilitary personnelThe disease has also been associated with swimming, wading, kayaking, and rafting in contaminated lakes and rivers. As such, it is a recreational hazard for campers or those who participate in outdoor sports. The risk is likely greater for those who participate in these activities in tropical or temperate climates.In addition, incidence of Leptospirosis infection among urban children appears to be increasing. Share Sharing is caring!