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New York On The Map Over New Cases Of A Rare Leptospirosis Disease | Learn More

Cases of leptospirosis are cropping up in New York United States. You probably have never heard of this very rare disease. Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that is got from animals. It usually spreads to humans through the urine of animals. It is mostly common in farm animals, rodents and pests such as dogs. The animals in most instances do not exhibit any symptoms. However they could still be carriers of the infection.

The bacterial infection can be very unpleasant to suffer from. However it is not a life threatening infection like flu and other infections. In most cases the infection does not go beyond one week. In rare occasions however, you may have severe leptospirosis. This is about 10 percent of the cases and in such a case you' ll get better but then get sick again. When this happens it is usually known as Weil' s disease. Weil' s disease could lead to more serious issues such as swollen arms and legs and chest pains.

What causes leptospirosis infection

Leptospirosis is caused by a bacterium that lives in the kidney of animals. The bacterium is usually known as Leptospira interrogans. Many animals carry this organism in their kidney and deposit it in water and soil when they pass urine. If you happen to have breaks on your skin such as cuts and scratches, you could get infected if you get into contaminated soil or water.

The germs invade the skin through the breaks. They could also enter through the mouth nose and private parts. The disease is hard to transmit from person to person. However partners could transmit it to one another and mother' s could also transmit it when breastfeeding.

People who are at more risk of the disease are those that spend most of their time outdoors or around animals. People who swim or camp near infected waters are at a high risk of this infection. Also veterinarians, farmers, military personnel and people who work in slaughterhouses are also at high risk. The disease is often found in warm climate. It is more common in Africa, Australia, Asia, the Carribbean, Central and South America.

Symptoms of Leptospirosis

For most people, symptoms of Leptospirosis usually start showing after two weeks. For others the symptoms could show up to a month since the initial infection. In some cases the symptoms may not show up at all. The first symptom when you first get hit by the disease is high fever. The fever would then be accompanied by other typical symptoms such as; vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice, muscle ache, headache and skin rash. It may be difficult to determine the presence of the disease by going by the symptoms. This is because they could be similar to those of other diseases such as meningitis and flu.

Usually when your doctor suspects leptospirosis, he does some simple blood test. Additionally they could examine your blood for antibodies. Antibodies are the organisms produced by your body to fight off bacteria. If it happens that the disease has been in your system before, the blood test may give a false positive. The results may also show antibodies from the previous infection. A second test will have to be done a week later to confirm the correctness of the first results. In some instances a DBA test could be ordered. However this could be expensive, not easily accessible and it could take much longer to get the results.

Severe cases and treatment of the disease

Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection. Therefore antibiotics are used to treat it in addition to pain relievers. Some of the antibiotics used are penicillin and doxycycline. Pain relievers such as ibuprofen may also be recommended for the fever, headache and muscle pain. The disease is expected to take its course of one week and with the medication you may not need hospitalization. In some instances however, the infection could be severe making you to go to hospital. In severe instances you could have additional symptoms such as kidney failure, lung problems and meningitis. This is usually treated by injecting antibiotics into the body. In serious occasions this disease could damage your organs.

Sometimes treatment when it comes to complications could vary. For instance, the disease could spread through your body and cause internal bleeding which could inflame your pancreas and gallbladder. Additionally, you could notice changes in speech or behaviour after infection. The disease could also inflame your heart muscles. This will then lead to symptoms of heart failure such as blockage and irregular heartbeat. Before deciding on the right treatment for the complications, your doctor will asses and put into consideration some factors such as your age, health history, overall health, other symptoms among other factors.

Prevention of leptospirosis

Leptospirosis is usually spread through infected water and soil. Therefore to avoid it you have to avoid contaminated water. Unless you are sure the water is clean, you should not drink it. Also remember the organisms that cause the disease could get into the body through other openings. You should therefore avoid swimming, sailing and fishing in fresh water sources where the organisms could be found. Generally, the salty water sources are safe.

One of the major carries of the disease is the wild rats. You should therefore keep off such animals.

Rats, rodents and pets are the major carries of the disease. It is estimated that about 20 percent of the wild rats in the western world have the disease. Therefore you should be extra careful if you have to come into contact with the rats or their habitat.

If you stay in a place where farm animals are vaccinated then the risk in much lower. However if an animal is sick you should stay away from it' s body fluids and bites. Unlike the cold or flu the disease cannot be passed through air. You have to get into contact with contaminated fluids to get infected. You should also be careful of your sorrounding especially in places with poor sanitation. You should be aware of the symptoms and seek help in case of anything.

Content created and supplied by: KevinGatesKenya (via Opera News )

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