Leptospirosis is a rare and contagious bacterial infection that can very serious. The infection is caused by the bacterium called
. Leptospirosis is most common in warm, tropical conditions and can affect any part of the body.
With prompt and proper treatment, prognosis is usually good. If untreated, complications may develop that can potentially be fatal.
Leptospirosis is caused by 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. People can also contract leptospirosis by drinking water that has been contaminated by the urine of an infected animal.
Once the bacterium has entered the body, it flows into the bloodstream and throughout the body, causing infection.
A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition. Anyone can contract leptospirosis, but the following people are at an increased risk of developing leptospirosis:
Swimmers (in lakes, rivers, and streams)
Workers in flood plains
Workers in wet agricultural settings
People who have pets, particularly dogs or livestock
People who work with the land, including farmers, ranchers, loggers, and rice-field workers
People who work with animals, including veterinarians
Symptoms typically appear about 10 days after infection and may include one or more of the following:
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a