Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease caused by Leptospira bacteria that may affect both humans and animals. It spreads through the urine of infected animals that can seep in the water or soil.
The bacteria may survive for weeks or months and get into contact with humans through skin or mucous membranes.
Wild and domestic animals alike can be carriers of this bacteria strain. The common carriers include cattle, pigs, horses, dogs, wild animals and rodents.
Multiple cases of leptospirosis occur during flood periods when contaminated soil and water can spread widely in flooded areas. Bacteria enters the body through open wounds, cuts or breaks in the skin that are exposed to contaminated water or through the mucous membranes in the eyes, mouth and nose.
Consuming food and drinks that are contaminated can also lead to infection.
Signs or symptoms of leptospirosis include high fever, chills, headaches, muscle aches, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, rashes, jaundice and red eyes. A contaminated person may not exhibit any symptom at all and may become sick within 2 days to 4 weeks after exposure.
The disease may be effectively treated with antibiotics and may last from a few days to 3 weeks or longer. In severe cases where the strain is virulent and the patient’s health is poor, the illness can lead to liver or kidney failure, meningitis, hemorrhages or internal bleeding and in some cases death.
Early and preventive treatment of the disease is essential in the patient’s quick recovery. It is important to be aware of possible exposure to Leptospirosis contaminants and inform your physician about it at the onset of the illness for early detection and proper treatment of the disease.