Fever, chills, headache during rainy Season? It could be Leptospirosis!
Leptospirosis is most common zoonotic (Spreading from animals) disease worldwide. It is still widely overlooked and under reported.
Without treatment, Leptospirosis can lead to kidney damage, meningitis (inflammation of the membrane around the brain and spinal cord), liver failure, respiratory distress, and even death.
It spreads via urine of infected animals which can get into water and soil and survive there for weeks.
Animal which commonly causes this disease are cattles, rodents, dogs, horses, pigs etc. Animals might be asymptomatic and continue to excrete the bacteria into environment.
It Spread to Human via
- contact with urine (or other body fluids except saliva) from infected animals
- Ingestion of contaminated food or water
- Direct contact over cut or wound (eg splash of infected water over eyes, nose or broken skin & mucus membrane)
Leptospirosis has a wide range of symptoms which could be similar to other illness as well. But common ones are:
- High fever, with or without chills
- Muscle aches, body ache
- Jaundice (yellow skin and eyes)
- Red eyes
- Abdominal Pain, Diarrhea
Incubation period ranges from2 days to 4 weeks. Can occur in 2 phases: 1st with acute febrile illness followed by more severe involving multi organ dysfunction “Weil’s Disease”
Who is at Risk?
- Occupational hazard eg farmers, mine workers, sewer workers, slaughterhouse workers, veterinarians and animal caretakers
- Recreational hazard eg swimming in contaminated water , camping outdoor sports. More common in tropical and temperate climate
- Incidence of Leptospirosis infection among urban children appears to be increasing.
How to diagnose?
It is completely curable if diagnosed early and treatment started on time.
Consult your doctor immediately. Doctor will order few tests which may include dark field microscopy, Culture, leptospirosis Serolgy (IgG& IgM) and PCR.
How to manage?
Avoid self medication
Leptospirosis is treated with antibiotics, such as doxycycline or penicillin, which should be given early in the course of the disease. It should be taken only after consulting doctor, in appropriate doses and for proper duration.
Intravenous antibiotics may be required for persons with more severe symptoms.
How we can prevent it?
- Clean Water (boiled, RO )
- Protective gears: while swimming
- Protective clothing or footwear
- Cover your would properly and avoid contact with contaminated water, taking shower in monsoon rain, going to river banks
- Take care of pets. Consult vet doc
- Clean your home regularly of rats and other animals
For further reading click on the link below
Feel free to discuss with your doctor or call us at MAYA CLINIC. we will be happy to respond back.
Dr Rahul Varma