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Leptospirosis

(Weil's Disease; Icterohemorrhagic Fever; Swineherd's Disease; Rice-Field Fever; Cane-Cutter Fever; Swamp Fever; Mud Fever; Hemorrhagic Jaundice; Stuttgart Disease; Canicola Fever)

Definition

Leptospirosis is a rare, but potentially serious, bacterial infection. It is most common in warm, tropical environments, and it spreads easily.

Causes

Leptospirosis is caused by specific bacteria resulting from contact with fresh water, wet or dampened soil, or vegetation that has been soiled by urine from an infected animal.
When contact is made with the contaminated material, the bacteria enter the body through open sores or wounds in the skin, or through mucous membranes. When the bacteria has entered the body, it flows into the bloodstream and throughout the body, causing infection.

Risk Factors

The following people are at an increased risk of developing leptospirosis:

Symptoms

Symptoms typically appear about 10 days after infection and may include one or more of the following:

Diagnosis

You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Your bodily fluids may be tested. This can be done with:

Treatment

Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include antibiotics. In severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary.

Prevention

To help reduce your chances of getting leptospirosis:

RESOURCES

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov

World Health Organization http://www.who.int

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Capital Health http://www.cdha.nshealth.ca

Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

References

Ellis T, Imrie A, et al. Underrecognition of leptospirosis during a dengue fever outbreak in Hawaii, 2001-2002. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2008;8(4):541-547.

Hartskeerl RA, Collares-Pereira M, et al. Emergence, control and re-emerging leptospirosis: dynamics of infection in the changing world. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2011;17(4):494-501.

Katz AR, Buchholz AE, et al. Leptospirosis in Hawaii, USA, 1999-2008. Emerg Infect Dis. 2011;17(2):221-226.

Leptospirosis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/leptospirosis. Updated November 18, 2014. Accessed June 11, 2015.

Leptospirosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated April 3, 2015. Accessed June 11, 2015.

Leptospirosis (Weil's disease). New York State Department of Health website. Available at: http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/leptospirosis/fact%5Fsheet.htm. Updated October 2011. Accessed June 11, 2015.

Stern EJ, Galloway R, et al. Outbreak of leptospirosis among Adventure Race participants in Florida, 2005. Clin Infect Dis. 2010;50(6):843-849.

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