And if we know a disease that is synonymous to flood water exposure, it would be leptospirosis - Ditas Aldover-Chu, Henry's Mom Blogs


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Leptospirosis - An old disease causes new problems

So, what's the story with this disease called leptospirosis, better known simply as "lepto"...

The Centers for Disease Control has removed Leptospirosis from the “reportable human diseases” list, but there is still significant concern over this zoonotic disease. Our pets are susceptible to lepto as well, but many owners are afraid to vaccinate for the illness. What’s the real story and how can we keep our pets and families safe...

Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease- a disease that can be passed between animals and people. It is spread by spirochete (spiral-shaped) bacteria in the urine of infected rodents, wildlife, and pets. There are more than 200 different strains of lepto…

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 Leptospirosis - An old disease causes new problems

Worldwide, Leptospirosis is the most widespread zoonotic disease. Cases occur routinely in tropical countries, but increases have been seen in Europe and North America as well.

Five Things You Didn't Know About Lepto

Leptospirosis can be transmitted by a variety of domestic and wild animals, including rats, mice and racoons.

Lepto Info

Your Lepto resource.

Institut Pasteur

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease found throughout the world. Its main reservoirs are rodents, particularly rats, which excrete the bacterium in their urine. In humans the disease may lead to kidney failure, and even death in 5 to 20% of cases.


Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects humans and animals. It is caused by bacteria of the genus Leptospira. In humans, it can cause a wide range of symptoms, some of which may be mistaken for other diseases. Some infected persons, however, may have no symptoms at all.

Government of Canada

The risk is low for most travellers, but is higher for travellers who: •visit tropical areas where leptospirosis transmission is more common. •participate in fresh water activities such as rafting, canoeing or swimming in streams, rivers, ponds or lakes, particularly following periods of heavy rainfall or flooding. •work outdoors or with animals, such as farmers, veterinarians, military personnel, etc.

Live Science

Human cases of leptospirosis are rare in the United States. According to the CDC, only about 100 to 200 leptospirosis cases are reported each year in the United States. About 50 percent of all U.S. leptospirosis cases occur in Hawaii, the CDC said.


The disease is spread by the urine of infected animals (many species, both domesticated and wild); the bacteria can survive in the water and soil for months. The disease is most common in temperate and tropical climates. The infecting bacteria occur worldwide.


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 Leptospirosis is rare in the continental United States. Hawaii has the highest number of cases in the United States.


In 90% of cases, leptospirosis only causes mild flu-like symptoms, such as a headache, chills and muscle pain. However, in some cases the infection is more severe and can cause life-threatening problems, including organ failure and internal bleeding. In its most severe form, leptospirosis is also known as Weil's disease.


Leptospirosis is caused by infection with Leptospira germs (bacteria). The infection passes from animals (commonly rats, cattle, pigs and dogs) to humans. In most cases, leptospirosis causes a mild illness. But, in some people, a more severe illness occurs. This more severe form is commonly referred to as Weil's disease. The main treatment for leptospirosis is antibiotics and most people make a full recovery.


Leptospirosis is an infectious disorder of animals and humans. It is the most common zoonotic infection in the world. It is easily transmitted from infected animals through their urine, either directly or through infected soil or water.

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