Leptospirosis – Ukraine
A 35-year-old Ukrainian man was hospitalized after contracting Leptospirosis from an unknown source.
Potential sources for the infection are rodents living in his village that can carry the disease or the man’s liking of fishing, during which he could have been in contact with contaminated water. His symptoms included pain in his lymph glands, burning pains and fever and are described as close to serious. The incubation period for Leptospirosis is between two and four days.
The man is the only reported patient with Leptospirosis and has been hospitalized in the Lviv Regional Infectious Diseases Hospital.
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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