Leptospirosis was once a common zoonotic disease affecting most mammalian species. While it was once a very prevalent disease, it had tailored off only affecting humans with certain occupational hazards in developed countries. Recently, there has been an increase in the incidence of leptospirosis associated with recreational exposures and travel to tropical climates. Humans become infected with the disease through either direct or indirect contact with infected animal urine. Since leptospirosis has a longer survival period in wet, humid and warm conditions it is more prevalent in tropical and temperate climates and exposure peaks in the summer. There are a variety of ways a person can contract leptospirosis including through cuts in the skin, the conjunctiva of the eye, through the respiratory tract as a result of aerosol or water inhalation and though it is rare, animal bites may transmit the disease. Appropriate treatment and early diagnosis can reduce the side effects and potential death associated with leptospirosis. Unfortunately, because the disease incidence dropped off so dramatically for such a long time doctors are not recognizing the symptoms and are not properly diagnosing and/or treating the disease. Humans present with many flu-like symptoms and abdominal pain, dysuria, nausea, anorexia and fever. A simple blood culture can confirm the presence of leptospires. However, the morbidity and mortality remain high for leptospiosis. The purpose of this study is to examine the epidemiologic relationship between exposure, whether it is travel, occupational or incidental, and the risk of contracting leptospiosis.
International Journal of Global Health and Health Disparities
©2007 International Journal of Global Health and Health Disparities
Schmidt, Catherine C.
"Routes of Exposure for Leptospirosis,"
International Journal of Global Health and Health Disparities, 5(1), 97-100.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/ijghhd/vol5/iss1/9