Leptospirosis

Ashley Morgan

What is it?

  • One of the common zoonatic diseases
  • Also known as Weil's Syndrome, 7 Day Fever, Rat Catcher's Yellows and Black Jaundice
  • Transmitted directly or indirectly from animals to humans
  • Human to human transmission is rare
  • Rodents were the first recognized carriers
  • Virtually all mammals can harbor it, commonly found in rodents, cattle, horses, pigs and dogs

Symptoms

  • Usually develop 7-14 after infection
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression
  • Weakness
  • Stiffness
  • Muscle Pain
  • Jaundice
  • Severe cases may develop kidney damage
  • Meningitis
  • Liver Failure
  • Death

Diagnosis

  • Many symptoms are similar to other diseases
  • Diagnosis is based on clinical examination
  • Confirmed by blood tests

Transmission

  • Contact through infected pets blood, urine, or tissues
  • Contact with contaminated water
  • Enters the body through cuts
  • Can also enter through mucous membranes and eyes

People At Risk


  • Farm Workers
  • Veterinarians
  • Slaughterhouse workers
  • Sewer and waste workers
  • Swimmers
  • Canoeists
  • Fishes
  • Over half of infections are contracted through recreational activities

Treatment

  • Early antibiotic treatment
  • Penicillin
  • Doxycycline
  • More severe cases may require intravenous antibiotics
  • Dialysis and hydration therapy may also be used

Prevention

  • No human vaccination
  • High risk occupations may benefit from taking 200mg Doxycyline weekly
  • Vaccinate pets
  • Reduce rodent population
  • Cover cuts, scratches, and sores
  • Wear appropriate protective clothing, ie boots, waders, gloves
  • Shower after water contact
  • Avoid stagnant or slow moving water
  • Wear thick gloves when handling rats
  • Thoroughly wash hands after handling rats

Sources

N/A (13 July 18). Public Health England. Retrieved from http://www.hpa.org.uk/Topics/InfectiousDiseases/InfectionsAZ/Leptospirosis/GeneralInformation/lepto005GeneralInformation/


Barbara, M. (2014, Jan. 29). A Wee Rat Problem. Snopes. Retrieved from http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/raturine.asp


N/A. (2013, June 24). Leptospirosis. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/leptospirosis/index.html