In summer, when people spend more time near water bodies, the incidence of leptospirosis increases in Ukraine. In 5 months of 2021, 13 cases were registered in Ukraine.
The bacterium that causes leptospirosis in humans gets into the water in the urine of infected animals, most often rodents, and can also be cattle, dogs, or wild animals. The disease is not transmitted from person to person.
The bacterium leptospirosis enters the human body through cracks, cuts or wounds on the skin or mucous membranes (eyes, nose, mouth).
Leptospirosis can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are similar to those of other diseases, such as the flu or COVID-19. In addition, sometimes the disease can be asymptomatic.
Among the symptoms of leptospirosis:
- high temperature;
- muscle pain;
- vomiting and diarrhea;
- redness of the eyes;
A person can get sick between two days and four weeks after infection. The disease usually begins abruptly with fever and other symptoms. Leptospirosis can progress from the first phase with the above symptoms to the second – more severe – which can lead to kidney, liver or meningitis. In case of untimely treatment, the disease can lead to death.
To avoid leptospirosis:
- avoid potentially contaminated water bodies and fishing in them;
- vaccinate domestic and farm animals against leptospirosis;
- avoid contact with sick and infected animals;
- destroy rodents in private homes.
If you have symptoms of the disease and you have recently come in contact with potentially contaminated water – see a doctor. If leptospirosis is suspected, treatment should be started as soon as possible, as the disease progresses rapidly. Untimely medical attention can cost a life.
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