Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease which can affect humans as well as animals. Usually dogs and rats are considered to be carrier of Leptospirosis . The disease is also known as Field Fever and rat catchers yellow . If the infection causes the person to turn yellow, have kidney failure and bleeding, it is then known as Weil’s disease. If it causes lots of bleeding from the lungs it is known as severe pulmonary haemorrhage syndrome.
Symptoms of Leptospirosis :
People suffering from the Leptospirosis may have at least two of the following symptoms:
• Muscular pain
• Calf tenderness
• Conjuctival suffusion
• Abdominal pain (stomach ache)
History of Leptospirosis:
Leptospirosis was first described by Adolf Weil in 1886 when he reported an “acute infectious disease with enlargement of spleen, jaundice, and nephritis.” Leptospirawas first observed in 1907 from a post mortem renal tissue slice .
Cause and Spread of Leptospirosis :
Leptospirosis caused by corkscrew-shaped bacteria called Leptospira . The disease occurs in humans when someone comes in direct contact with urine of infected animal or an environment contaminated with infected animal’s urine, for example, plants , soil, floor , water and clothes etc. Leptospirosis bacteria have been reported to be carried by various domestic and wild animals like dogs, cattles , rats , horses , cats and pigs . Leptospires bacteria enters into body through cuts and abrasions in the skin and through mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and mouth. Human-to-human transmission occurs only rarely.
Diagnosis of Leptospiosis :
On infection the Leptospiosis causing bacteria can be found in blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) for the first 7 to 10 days (invoking serologically identifiable reactions) and then moving to the kidneys. After this period the bacteria starts appearing in patient’s urine. Early diagnostic methods must include testing a serum or blood sample.
Leptospirosis is often difficult to diagnose clinically; laboratory support is indispensable. Treatment with appropriate antibiotics should be initiated as early as possible. If Leptospirosis patients are not treated at the early stage , it can be fatal for the patient .
Precaution : Following precautions can be taken to reduce chances of Leptospirosis:
- Avoid walking in stagnant water especially near garbage sites.
- If you happen to walk in water then wash your legs with clean water.
- If you have scratches and cuts use adhesive bandage to cover the wound.
- Use adequate footwear like gum boots if you have to walk through water-logged areas regularly as prevention is better than cure.