Leptospirosis

Posted by e-Medical PPT Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Leptospirosis (also known as Weil's disease) is a bacterial zoonotic disease caused by spirochaetes of the genus Leptospira that affects humans.Though recognised among the world's most common zoonoses, leptospirosis is a relatively rare bacterial infection in humans. The infection is commonly transmitted to humans by allowing water that has been contaminated by animal urine to come in contact with unhealed breaks in the skin, the eyes, or with the mucous membranes.
Leptospiral infection in humans causes a range of symptoms, and some infected persons may have no symptoms at all. Leptospirosis is a biphasic disease that begins with flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, myalgias, intense headache). The first phase resolves, and the patient is briefly asymptomatic until the second phase begins. This is characterized by meningitis, liver damage (causing jaundice), and renal failure. The infection is often wrongly diagnosed due to the wide range of symptoms. This leads to a lower registered number of cases than exists. Symptoms of leptospirosis include high fever, severe headache, chills, muscle aches, and vomiting, and may include jaundice, red eyes, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and rash. The symptoms in humans appear after a 4–14 day incubation period.
Complications include meningitis, extreme fatigue, hearing loss, respiratory distress, azotemia, and renal interstitial tubular necrosis, which results in renal failure and often liver failure (the severe form of this disease is known as Weil's disease, though it is sometimes named Weil Syndrome).Cardiovascular problems(MYOCARDITIS) are also possible.

Doxycycline may be used to prevent infection in adventure travelers to high risk areas.


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