Makayla Lambert

The Cause

The bacteria of the genus Leptospira causes a bacterial disease known as Leptospirosis. The disease affects both animals and humans, and can either generate a wide range of symptoms, or none.
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Modes of Transmission

Many wild and domestic animals carry the bacterium. The urine of these infected animals contaminate the water or soil and infect other animals as a result.

Humans can become infected through:

» Contact with bodily fluids, except saliva, of an infected animal

» Contact with water, soil, or food contaminated with the urine of an infected animal

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Signs and Symptoms

» Fever

» Headache

» Vomiting

» Chills

» Jaundice

» Muscle Aches

» Red Eyes

» Abdominal Pain

» Diarrhea

» Rash

Treatment of Disease

In the early course of the disease, Leptospirosis is treated with antibiotics, such as doxycycline or penicillin.

More severe symptoms may need to be treated with intravenous antibiotics.

Prevention of Disease

To greatly reduce the risk of becoming infected with Leptospirosis, people should not swim or wade in water that has the possibility of being contaminated with animal urine. Also, eliminating contact with infected animals can lower the risk too.

For those who do come in contact with contaminated water or soil, protective clothing and shoes should be worn.