Leptospirosis: All you need to know!
In India, the
concern has increased, death toll is on rise in Mumbai due to the spread of
Leptospirosis. As per Maharashtra Public Health Department, Maharashtra has
recorded 20 cases of Leptospirosis from January to June 2018, where Mumbai
holds the record of maximum number of cases i.e. 12 cases. Leptospirosis has
claimed seven and nine lives in the year 2016 and 2017 respectively. In last 5
days, in Mumbai only, 3 lives were claimed by it.
What is Leptospirosis?
Leptospirosis is a
water-borne bacterial disease and is more prevalent during monsoon. It is
majorly caused by the bacterial Leptospira and is spread through the urine of
the infected animals. Flooding caused by heavy downpour increases the risk of
getting infected with the disease as more and more people have to wade through
the contaminated water.
an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Leptospira. It generally spread
through the urine and feces of rats and dogs. More specifically through rats.
When it is flooded and rats pass stool or urine in the water, the water gets
contaminated with Leptospirosis causing bacteria.
If a person having some open wounds in the body is exposed to this contaminated
water, he is at the high risk of getting Leptospirosis.
Farmers are at high risk as there are lots of rats in the field and when the
farmers go to the fields for plowing they get infected with this bacterium.
This disease lasts from four to 21 days and it affects both animals and human
Signs and Symptoms
This disease can
cause a wide range of symptoms such as high fever, muscle aches along with
abdominal pain. In certain cases a person infected with this disease may not
experience and show any kind of sign or symptoms. In most of the cases the
infected person develops jaundice in the early stages, though in later stages
everybody gets jaundice. Mentioned below are some of the sign and symptoms of
Yes, it is curable.
It will be best to consult a doctor on immediate basis if anyone experiences
any of the above mentioned sign and symptoms. Antibiotics are used to treat the
disease which includes doxycycline or penicillin. In most critical cases
intravenous antibiotics are preferred by the doctors.
Getting a proper
diagnosis is the initial step a person can take if they have high index of
doubt about getting infected with the disease. Early diagnosis will be helpful
in treating the disease with oral antibiotics or inject-able antibiotics. In
chronic conditions there are chances that the patient might develop liver
failure, respiratory failure or low platelet count.
Who are at risk of
exposure to this disease?
Mentioned below is
the list of people who are at higher risk of getting infected with this
Prevention is the
key, hence mentioned below are some tips which is helpful in the prevention of
the disease while keeping you healthy:
Avoid Contaminated Water: Make
sure before consuming water. Leptospirosis can enter through the openings of
the body; hence avoiding swimming, water-skiing, sailing or fishing in
freshwater areas are also some of the ways which can prevent Leptospirosis.
Generally saltwater is safe.
Keep away from infected animals, especially wild
rats: The main carriers of the bacteria are rats and
other rodents. Therefore, one has to be careful while handling the wild rat or
if by any chance comes in contact with their habitat.
Be aware of your surroundings, especially when
you travel: Poor sanitation is also a major cause for the
person to get infected with this disease. In poor sanitation areas
Leptospirosis is more common and thus it can be difficult to avoid. So, it’s
important to recognize the symptoms and need to seek doctor on immediate basis
if one is ill.
Use disinfectant: Bleach,
Lysol, acid solution and iodine are the deadly to these bacteria. Make sure you
are using these disinfectants to stay away from getting infected with this
very common to get infected with Leptospirosis during rainy season. So it’s
better to use these preventive methods to stay safe and healthy, and if you
encounter any of the above mentioned symptoms then there is an immediate need
for doctor’s consultation.”, says Dr. S Chakravorty, Sr. Consultant - Internal