BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuLeptospirosisWeil disease; Icterohemorrhagic fever; Swineherd's disease; Rice-field fever; Cane-cutter fever; Swamp fever; Mud fever; Hemorrhagic jaundice; Stuttgart disease; Canicola feverLeptospirosis is an infection caused by leptospira bacteria. Causes These bacteria can be found in fresh water that has been soiled by animal urine. You may get infected if you consume or come in contact with contaminated water or soil. The infection occurs in warmer climates. Leptospirosis is not spread from person to person, except in very rare cases.Risk factors include:Occupational exposure -- farmers, ranchers, slaughterhouse workers, trappers, veterinarians, loggers, sewer workers, rice field workers, and military personnel Recreational activities -- fresh water swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and trail biking in warm areas Household exposure -- pet dogs, domesticated livestock, rainwater catchment systems, and infected rodents Weil disease, a severe form of leptospirosis, is rare in the continental United States. Hawaii has the highest number of cases in the United States. Symptoms Symptoms can take 2 to 30 days (average 10 days) to develop, and may include:Dry cough Fever Headache Muscle pain Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea Shaking chillsLess common symptoms include:Abdominal pain Abnormal lung sounds Bone pain Conjunctival redness without fluid Conjunctival redness without fluidThe conjunctiva is a clear layer of tissue lining the eyelids and covering the white of the eye. Conjunctivitis occurs when the conjunctiva becomes ...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Enlarged lymph glands Enlarged spleen or liver Enlarged spleenSplenomegaly is a larger-than-normal spleen. The spleen is an organ in the upper left part of the belly.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Joint aches Muscle rigidity Muscle tenderness Skin rash Sore throat Exams and Tests The blood is tested for antibodies to the bacteria. During some phases of the illness, the bacteria themselves can be detected using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing.Other tests that may be done:Complete blood count (CBC) Complete blood countA complete blood count (CBC) test measures the following:The number of red blood cells (RBC count)The number of white blood cells (WBC count)The tota...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Creatine kinase Creatine kinaseCreatine phosphokinase (CPK) is an enzyme in the body. It is found mainly in the heart, brain, and skeletal muscle. This article discusses the test...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Liver enzymes Urinalysis UrinalysisUrinalysis is the physical, chemical, and microscopic examination of urine. It involves a number of tests to detect and measure various compounds th...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Blood cultures Treatment Medicines to treat leptospirosis include:Ampicillin Azithromycin Ceftriaxone Doxycycline PenicillinComplicated or serious cases may need supportive care. You may need treatment in a hospital intensive care unit (ICU). Outlook (Prognosis) The outlook is generally good. However, a complicated case can be fatal if it is not treated promptly. Possible Complications Complications may include:Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction when penicillin is given Meningitis MeningitisMeningitis is an infection of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. This covering is called the meninges.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Severe bleeding When to Contact a Medical Professional Contact your health care provider if you have any symptoms of, or risk factors for, leptospirosis. Prevention Avoid areas of stagnant water or floodwater, especially in tropical climates. If you are exposed to a high risk area, take precaution to avoid infection. Wear protective clothing, shoes, or boots when near water or soil contaminated with animal urine. You can take doxycycline to decrease the risk.Open ReferencesReferencesGalloway RL, Stoddard RA, Schafer IJ. Leptospirosis. CDC Yellow Book 2020: Health Information for the International Traveler. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/yellowbook-home. Updated July 18, 2019. Accessed October 7, 2020.Haake DA, Levett PN. Leptospira species (leptospirosis). In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 239.Zaki S, Shieh W-J. Leptospirosis. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 307.AllVideoImagesTogAntibodies - illustration Antigens are large molecules (usually proteins) on the surface of cells, viruses, fungi, bacteria, and some non-living substances such as toxins, chemicals, drugs, and foreign particles. The immune system recognizes antigens and produces antibodies that destroy substances containing antigens. AntibodiesillustrationAntibodies - illustration Antigens are large molecules (usually proteins) on the surface of cells, viruses, fungi, bacteria, and some non-living substances such as toxins, chemicals, drugs, and foreign particles. The immune system recognizes antigens and produces antibodies that destroy substances containing antigens. AntibodiesillustrationRelated Information Review Date: 7/13/2020 Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. 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