Leptospirosis – Ukraine
One student tested positive for Leptospirosis in Odessa Region, Ukraine, the source of infection is unknown and being investigated.
No information is known about the source, but incubation time ranges from 2 days to 4 weeks.
Because transmission can occur from swimming in open reservoirs, or working in wet areas with no special clothing the government recommends individuals wear rubber gloves/boots.
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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