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Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis


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Mouse: main disease transmitter

What is leptospirosis

Leptospirosis, also called Weil's disease, is a bacterial disease that affects humans and animals and, in its most severe form, can lead to death.

Important informations

Classified since 1917, this zoonosis (zoonoses are diseases of animals transmissible to man as well as those transmitted from man to animals. Its triggering agents are usually diverse microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, etc.) is caused by a bacterium. Leptospira type.

In humans, it causes a wide range of symptoms; however, some infected people may be asymptomatic, ie, have no symptoms at all.

Symptoms of this disease are usually: high fever, severe headache, chills, muscle aches, vomiting, as well as jaundice, congested eyes, abdominal pain, diarrhea or itching.

The most severe complications include renal failure, meningitis, liver failure and respiratory failure, which characterizes the most severe form of this disease, known as Weil's disease. In more severe cases it can even lead to death.

Floods are known to increase the incidence of leptospirosis. Therefore, its epidemic occurs very frequently in the summer, because it is at this time of year that the highest rainfall occurs and, consequently, more flooding.

Its main transmitter is the rat, which transmits the disease-causing bacteria through its urine. This bacterium, known as Leptospira, usually comes into contact with humans through floodwaters, as these waters are often contaminated with rat urine.

In direct contact with floodwaters, people are at a great risk of contracting leptospirosis, because the bacteria of this disease penetrates the body of people through the skin and also through the mouth and eyes. The best way to avoid it is not to come into contact with flood waters.

IMPORTANT: The information on this page is only a source for research and school work. Therefore, they should not be used for medical advice. To do so, see a doctor for guidance and proper treatment.