Leptospirosis is an infectious disease caused by bacteria. It can lead to potentially fatal infections of the kidney, liver, brain, lung or heart.
How do people get Leptospirosis?
- Direct contact with the urine of infected animals like rodents, cattle, pigs, horses and wild animals or urine-contaminated water, soil and plants. Leptospires can gain entry through cuts and abrasions in the skin and through mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and mouth.
- Ingesting contaminated food or water.
- Do not wade or swim in floodwaters or in water contaminated with animal urine.
- If exposure to water is unavoidable, wear protective clothing like boots, gloves, goggles, overalls
- Protect food and drinking water from contamination.
- Boil drinking water for 10-15 minutes.
- Fresh vegetables and fruits should be washed
Antibiotic prophylaxis can be given for some degree of protection to exposed individuals. The use of prophylaxis requires prior consult with a Physician.
Persons with symptoms suggestive of leptospirosis should see a doctor
Leptospirosis can cause a wide range of symptoms including:
- High fever
- Muscle aches
- Red eyes
- Abdominal Pain
- Jaundice (yellow skin and eyes)
The time between a person’s exposure to a contaminated source and becoming sick is 2 days to 4 weeks.
Leptospirosis may occur in two phases:
- In the first phase, the person may have 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. This phase is also called Weil’s disease.
The illness lasts from a few days to 3 weeks or longer. Without treatment, recovery may take several months.
Disclaimer: Insular Health Care, Inc. disclaims any liability or responsibility for the consequences of any actions taken in reliance on the health advisory or safety tips. The health-related materials contained herein are not intended to establish policy, procedure or standard of care.
Reference websites: doh.gov.ph, cdc.gov, who.int