Health topics

Leptospirosis

 

Leptospirosis is a bacterial zoonotic disease with varied manifestations. The early stages of the disease may include high fever, severe headache, muscle pain, chills, redness in the eyes, abdominal pain, jaundice, haemorrhages in skin and mucous membranes (including pulmonary bleeding), vomiting, diarrhoea and a rash.

Pathogenic Leptospira spp. cause leptospirosis. Human infection occurs through direct contact with the urine of infected animals or by contact with a urine-contaminated environment, such as surface water, soil and plants. The causative organisms have been found in a variety of both wild and domestic animals, including rodents, insectivores, dogs, cattle, pigs and horses. Leptospires can gain entry through cuts and abrasions in the skin and through mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and mouth. Human-to-human transmission occurs only rarely.