At least a dozen people in India’s most populous city have died due to the bacterial infection called leptospirosis in the past few weeks after heavy rains and flooding occurred in the city.

Leptospirosis/Philippines DOH Facebook page
Leptospirosis/Philippines DOH Facebook page

12 of the 21, or nearly 60 percent of cases reported at BMC hospitals have died. Most had a history of wading through flood waters.

For your informationMassey University researchers produce Leptospirosis video series

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects humans and animals. It is caused by bacteria of the genus Leptospira.

The bacteria that cause leptospirosis are spread through the urine of infected animals, which can get into water or soil and can survive there for weeks to months.

In humans, it can cause a wide range of symptoms, some of which may be mistaken for other diseases. Some infected persons, however, may have no symptoms at all.

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.