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LEPTOSPIROSIS

Leptospirosis, also known as canicola fever, hemorrhagic jaundice, infectious jaundice,


mud fever, spirochetal jaundice, swamp fever, swineherd's disease, caver's flu or sewerman's flu,
is a disease that is caused by pathogenic spirochetes of the genus Leptospira. It is considered the
most common zoonosis in the world. Leptospirosis has recently been recognized as a reemerging infectious disease among animals and humans1 and has the potential to become even
more prevalent with anticipated global warming. Leptospirosis is distributed worldwide (sparing
the polar regions) but is most common in the tropics.
Humans and a wide range of animals, including mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles
can develop Leptospira infection. However, humans are rarely chronic carriers and are therefore
considered accidental hosts. Leptospirosis is transmitted via direct contact with the body fluid of
an acutely infected animal or by exposure to soil or fresh water contaminated with the urine of an
animal that is a chronic carrier.
Human leptospirosis is often acquired via contact with fresh water contaminated by
bovine, rat, or canine urine as part of occupational contact with these animals. The disease is also
acquired during adventure travel or vacations that involve water sports or hiking, or even as a
consequence of flooding.
is a bacterial infection resulting from exposure to the Leptospira interrogans bacterium.
Human leptospirosis can be a difficult infection to describe, as the symptoms can vary
dramatically between patients. Some symptoms are extremely common, but only a small number
of patients will experience the severe life-threatening illness known as Weil's disease. The
severity of the infection depends on the age and general health of the patient, plus the serovar
(strain) of bacteria involved and the number of bacteria that entered the patient's body.
The infection is usually systemic (affecting the whole body) and causes a sudden fever. In
mild cases it lasts a few days, following a pattern similar to flu but often in two phases - a period
of illness lasting a few days, then a slight recovery, then a second period of illness. In mild cases
the second phase lasts a short time and the patient recovers, but in severe types the illness
develops and progresses rapidly, leading to organ failure and often death if not treated with
intervention and support.
Leptospirosis is primarily an occupational disease that affects farmers, veterinarians,
sewer workers or others whose occupation involves contact with animals, especially rats. It is

spread mainly by the urine of infected animals and is generally not transmitted from person to
person.