|Other encyclopedia topics:||A-Ag Ah-Ap Aq-Az B-Bk Bl-Bz C-Cg Ch-Co Cp-Cz D-Di Dj-Dz E-Ep Eq-Ez F G H-Hf Hg-Hz I-In Io-Iz J K L-Ln Lo-Lz M-Mf Mg-Mz N O P-Pl Pm-Pz Q R S-Sh Si-Sp Sq-Sz T-Tn To-Tz U V W X Y Z 0-9|
|Contents of this page:|
Alternative Names Return to topWeil disease; Icterohemorrhagic fever; Swineherd's disease; Rice-field fever; Cane-cutter fever; Swamp fever; Mud fever; Hemorrhagic jaundice; Stuttgart disease; Canicola fever
Definition Return to top
Leptospirosis is a rare, severe, and contagious bacterial infection.
Causes Return to top
Leptospirosis is caused by exposure to several types of the Leptospira bacteria, which can be found in fresh water that has been contaminated by animal urine. It occurs in warmer climates.
Risk factors include:
Leptospirosis is rare in the continental U.S. Hawaii has the highest number of cases in the U.S.
Symptoms Return to top
Symptoms can take 2 - 26 days (average 10 days) to develop, and may include:
Less common symptoms include:
Exams and Tests Return to top
The blood is tested for antibodies to the bacteria.
Other tests that may be done:
Treatment Return to top
Medications to treat leptospirosis include:
Complicated cases will need supportive care.
Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top
The outlook is generally good. However, a complicated case can be life-threatening if it is not treated promptly.
Possible Complications Return to top
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
Contact your health care provider if you have any symptoms of, or risk factors for leptospirosis.
Prevention Return to top
Avoid areas of stagnant water, especially in tropical climates. If you are exposed to a high risk area, taking doxycycline may decrease your risk of developing disease.
References Return to top
Ko AI. Leptospirosis. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 344.Update Date: 8/3/2008 Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.