1.What is Leptospirosis?
Leptospirosis is a rare bacterial infection which primarily affects both humans and animals. It is said to pass from animals to humans through their urine by coming in contact with soil or water where traces of it might be present. Open wounds and broken skin on humans is how it infects them.
The different types of Leptospirosis that we know about has been mentioned below for your understanding:
- Mild Leptospirosis
- Severe Leptospirosis
It can further lead to meningitis or Weil’s disease which can prove to be fatal.
The Leptospirosis symptoms are ones that appear almost suddenly and come up about 5 to 14 days after the infection. The incubation period though can range from 2 to 30 days as per experts. Some common symptoms of the two types has been listed below for your reference:
- Suffering from diarrhoea and vomiting
- Jaundice and yellowing of the tongue, whites of the eyes and the skin
- Muscle pain particularly in the calves and the lower back
- Experiencing chills and fever
- Leptospirosis rash
- Irritated and red eyes
- A Headache
- Fast and irregular heartbeat
- A poor appetite
- Sudden and inexplicable weight loss
These are some of the leptospirosis signs and symptoms that you should be aware about.
2.Who is at Risk?
There are a large number of Leptospirosis risk factors that all individuals should be aware about. We have mentioned them below for your reference:
- Individuals staying in areas which have tropical climate.
- A person who stays in the poorer parts or slum areas of large cities in developing nations
- When these areas experience high rainfalls and flooding due to it, then the risk increases
- Tourist hotspots in countries where this disease is likely to happen.
- Climate changes also has an affect on how the climate of a place will change and therefore the chances then increase.
The Leptospirosis causes happens through a bacterium called Leptospira interrogans. This is carried around by animals and resides in their kidney. Common causes that we know are:
- When an individual is around water or soil where an infected animal has peed then the germ can invade their body through breaks and openings in your skin like open wounds, scratches or even dry areas.
- Apart from this, the bacteria can even enter through your mouth, nose and genitals.
- Even though it is difficult to get it from a human being but it can be passed through breastfeeding or sex.
3.How is Leptospirosis diagnosed?
For Leptospirosis diagnosis, a doctor will conduct various tests to check for HDL, LDL and triglycerides. There are certain Leptospirosis tests that a doctor will conduct if they suspect that you might be suffering from it.
- The doctor will ask you to get a blood test done to check for levels of HDL, LDL and triglycerides and see if they are in the high, low or a healthy range.
- These numbers often change year on year and therefore it is advisable to get a blood test done annually so you know exactly what is going on inside your body.
- The doctor may conduct more frequent blood tests if there are any medicines that you are taking.
4.How is Leptospirosis treated?
Leptospirosis treatment is done through certain medicine for Leptospirosis like antibiotics that will be prescribed by the doctor.
In severe cases the individual will have to be hospitalized and might even be put on ventilator depending on which organ has been affected.
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5.How can Leptospirosis be prevented?
Leptospirosis prevention can be done through a number of different ways especially for those people whose lifestyle increases their risk:
- Living in non-tropical areas, the risk reduces for people who like to do water sports. If you are doing water sports in areas which is a tropical region then the risk will be more. So, if you are doing it then take adequate precautions.
- If there are any injuries and open wounds on your body then take precautions and ensure that they are covered at all times so that there is no exposure to bacteria.