Leptospirosis – France
1 case of leptospirosis after the patient crosses the Argensou canyon in Auzat, France on August 15, 2021.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that is transmitted via the urine of rodents. The disease is often mild in humans but can lead to kidney failure and is fatal in 5-20% of cases.
The mayor of Auzat will publicly prohibit swimming in the canyon and is cautioning potential visitors to the canyon.
Photo: Electron micrograph of leptospira bacteria.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects humans and animals. 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.
Signs and symptoms can range from none to mild (headaches, muscle pains, and fevers) to severe (bleeding in the lungs or meningitis).
The bacteria are spread to humans through animal urine, or water and soil contaminated with animal urine, coming into contact with the eyes, mouth, nose or breaks in the skin.
Without treatment, Leptospirosis can lead to kidney damage, meningitis (inflammation of the membrane around the brain and spinal cord), liver failure, respiratory distress, and even death.
The disease was historically known as "rice field jaundice" in ancient Chinese texts, "autumn fever", "seven-day fever", and "nanukayami fever" in Japan. The bacterium causing the disease was identified in 1908 in Japan.
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