Leptospirosis is not a very popular infection, but can have fatal effects on humans and pets. It is a bacterial infection triggered by the Leptospira bacterium which can manifest into fatal infections like the Weil’s disease or meningitis. The Leptospira bacterium is welcomed to the body via broken or injured skins, mucus membranes or the eyes. The bacterium is transmitted by domestic rodents and some wild rodents including: skunks, opossums, rats, foxes and raccoons. The Leptospirosis infection rears its head in all climates but more in tropical areas than temperate ones. Statistics show that in the tropic regions, 10 in 100,000 people are affected by the leptospirosis infection; while only 0.1 in 100,000 are affected in the temperate regions.
FORMS OF LEPTOSPIROSIS
The infection exists in a mild form and a more severe form. In the mild form symptoms like muscle pain, chills and headaches will manifest. Mild leptospirosis is the most common of the two forms of the infection as it accounts for over 85% of Leptospirosis cases. The more severe form of the Leptospirosis infection accounts for about 15% of Leptospirosis cases. Here, fatal symptoms may manifest including: internal hemorrhaging, organ failure and death in severe cases.
WHO IS AT RISK?
The Leptospirosis infection is common in Africa, India, China, Central America, Brazil, Caribbean, South East Asia, and Southern Russia. It is mostly evident in the riverine areas of these countries and where irrigation is practiced including rice fields and some other waterlogged plantations. In developed countries, personnel more likely to contact the leptospirosis infection are:
• Sewage authorities
• Farm and horticultural laborers who have usual contact with animals or contaminated water or soil
• Pet shop workers and veterinarians
• Abattoir laborers and people who handle meat
• Those who engage in recreational water games, for example, cruising or kayaking
• Military work force
• Death rates in developed countries are much lesser than in less developed nations, because of powerful medicinal services.
Leptospirosis may not be the most common infections. If your work puts you in areas and situations where the infection can easily catch up to you, then regular checkups are advised to prevent fatal ends. In the home, the infection mostly affects the pets especially dogs. So, don’t leave your dog out of the regular checkups.