what is leptospirosis?
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection caused by a bacterium called Leptospira. It can occur in humans or animals and is most commonly transmitted by rats. This infection is spread through the urine of animals that are already infected. There are several ways through which humans can be infected by this disease. Some of which are when humans come in direct contact with the urine of an already infected animals or could even be indirectly through soil, water or food that has been contaminated by their urine.
Some of the common animals that transmit leptospirosis through their urine into the soil or water are:
- Other Wild animals
These animals may not necessarily display leptospirosis symptoms, however may continue to excrete bacteria and infection through their urine. This leptospirosis disease is easily transmitted to humans through cuts in their body while in contact with the infected soil or water or by consuming contaminated water. While the safest way for leptospirosis prevention is by avoiding any kind of contact with contaminated water, sometimes the infection is passed on unknowingly. However, there are several Leptospirosis treatment methods and leptospirosis diagnosis being developed with the growing knowledge and technology in the medical industry. However, sometimes the disease is recognized only at later stages as not many are aware of what is leptospirosis.
who is at risk in being affected by this disease?
Although this disease can be found worldwide, it is most commonly dealt with in warm and tropical climates. While it may occur by chance for some people, it remains an occupational hazard to many others. Some workforces who are more prone to this infection due t their constant direct contact with soil and water are:
- Slaughterhouse workers
- Dairy farmers
- Veterinarians and animal shelter caretakers
- Sewer workers
However, most of these workforce belong to the tertiary sector and are unaware of the diseases and the leptospirosis tests and treatments available for the same.
This Leptospirosis disease comes with various symptoms. The most common Leptospirosis symptoms are:
- High fever
- Muscle pain
- Red eyes
- Jaundice fever (skin and eyes turning yellow)
Not at all times, these leptospirosis symptoms may occur. However, if a severe case of Leptospirosis is not treated, it may cause kidney/liver failure or meningitis. However, there are several methods through which leptospirosis diagnosis can be addressed.
Considering that Leptospirosis is largely transmitted through water bodies, one needs to ensure the safety and hygiene of water they are directly in contact with to take precautions of Leptospirosis prevention. It can majorly be prevented by not getting in contact with contaminated water such as swimming in lakes or sea that might be infected by animal urine.
This disease is generally treated with anti-biotics such as penicillin or doxycilin that is prescribed at the earlier stages of the infection. If the infection has developed into a more serious phase, intravenous antibiotics are provided for leptospirosis treatment.
The treatment for Leptospirosis is determined through various lab tests specifically designed to determine the intensity of the infection such as leptospirosis igm, leptospirosis antibody test, leptospirosis blood test and leptospirosis rapid test. Depending on the results of the leptospirosis lab tests, leptospirosis treatment and leptospirosis diagnosis is considered.
The Leptospirosis diagnosis is done through a variety of leptospira test in the laboratory through several methods. Leptospirosis lab test Include leptospira igm, leptospira antibody test, leptospirosis blood test and leptospirosis rapid test. Some of the most effective and common leptospira tests are:
- MAT – microscopic agglutination test
- PCR – Polymerase chain reaction, this detects the organisms DNA
- Isolating the organism by using cultural methods
- Leptospirosis IGM test - Detecting Leptospira antibody in the organism
how can we help?
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