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Home »  Living Healthy »  This Monsoon, Stay Away From Leptospirosis: Here's How

This Monsoon, Stay Away From Leptospirosis: Here's How

Leptospirosis is a common infection during monsoon. It primarily occurs because of exposure todirty environment and unhygienic surroundings. Urine of infected animals like dogs, wild rats, rodents can also cause Leptospirosis.

This Monsoon, Stay Away From Leptospirosis: Here

Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection which has symptoms similar to flu

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Leptospirosis infection is spread by the urine of infected animals
  2. Leptospirosis is caused by a bacteria called spirochete
  3. Contact with animals excreta can cause leptospirosis

Most of you are aware of infections affected by various bacteria, viruses and other diseases like cholera, typhoid, malaria which are caused during the monsoons. But, there are several diseases which you are unaware of and leptospirosis is one of them. Diseases like leptospirosis spread mainly because of dirty environment and unhygienic surroundings. It is caused by a type of bacteria known as spirochete. This bacterial infection is spread by the urine of infected animals like dogs, wild rats, rodents and cats. The infection stretches mainly through the urine of such animals. Leptospirosis is not life-threatening. It has symptoms like flu which hinder for a week or so. But if you have any severe form, then you will get better and fall weak again.

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Nausea and vomiting are common symptoms of leptospirosis
Photo Credit: iStock


How Do You Get Leptospirosis?

A type of spiral-shaped bacterium called a spirochete, leptospira interrogans, causes leptospirosis. Leptospirosis is identified in reptiles and birds, though only mammals can transmit the bacteria to humans and other animals.

Try and stay away from the soil or water where animals roam. There are chances that the animal may have peed in that soil or water. In case your skin gets exposed to this water or soil, the germs may enter your body. This may occur through breaks in your skin like scratches and open areas like ears, nose, genitals, and wounds. 

People who practice farming, are in slaughterhouses, underground work are prone to get leptospirosis. Also, people who do rafting, swimming, or camping near affected lakes and rivers tend to get this disease.

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Leptospirosis bacteria can enter the body through open wounds
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: This Monsoon, Enjoy The Super Healthy Dates: Rujuta Diwekar Tells Why

What Are The Symptoms?

Generally, you may not get to know about leptospirosis much but, it hits fast when it does. It begins with high fever, skin rashes, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, muscle, reddish eyes and body ache.

The germs spread in three phases:

1. The first phase of symptoms comprises eye pain, headaches, muscle aches, followed by chills and high fever. Redness of the eyes appear first and other symptoms seem to grow day by day.

2. In the second phase, you may feel fine after a few days. The beginning symptoms reoccur with fever and neck aching. Serious inflammation might also be a symptom in the second phase.

3. The final phase occurs 2 to 4 weeks after the initial infection. There is a recurrent fever and muscle soreness.

Is leptospirosis epidemic?

In general, humans discard leptospirosis while urinating during or after the illness. Hence, human leptospirosis is contagious. The urine of humans who are infected may infect others, who are not infected by the bacteria. For instance, nurses, caretakers or any individual with bet wedding, or blood-soaked substance from an infected person may develop chances of acquiring the infection. Studies have shown that pregnant mothers who get leptospirosis can contaminate their fetus as well. Studies also affirm that individuals discard organisms in their urine for a few weeks. However, humans can resume shedding the organisms in urine for as long as 11 months.

Also read: Avoid These Foods During Monsoon: Rujuta Diwekar's Guide To Healthy Eating During The Rainy Season

Prevention For Leptospirosis

Here are some of the essential preventive measures:

1. Make sure you keep your surroundings neat and spotless.

2. Use powerful rat control and avoid urine contaminated water sources.

3. Avoid contact with animals excrement.

4. Doxycycline is an antibiotic which is provided once a week to minimize infections during outbreaks in endemic regions. However, there is no evidence that it is efficient in restraining outbreaks of leptospirosis.

5. Human vaccines are available only in a few countries, such as Europeana and Asian countries.

6. Veterinarians have admittance to vaccines that can defend leptospirosis in dogs and other animals for at least 12 months. This vaccination helps shield the owners and other local or family owned animals from the diseases.

7. Chemoprophylaxis is a drug that can be given to prevent illness but only under certain circumstances.

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

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