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Doctor insights on: Leptospirosis

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Dr. Leonard Mermel
46 doctors shared insights

Leptospirosis (Definition)

Leptospirosis is a severe infection that is caused by a specific bacteria. It usually occurs in warmer climates, and the bacteria may be found in fresh water that is contaminated with animal urine.

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What choices do I have for treating leptospirosis?

What choices do I have for treating leptospirosis?

A few choices: If the patient isn't so sick, then oral Doxycycline is a good choice. In sicker patients, penicillin g IV therapy is preferred. More recent trials have shown that third-generation cephalosporins are as effective as Doxycycline and penicillin in treating this disease. The crucial step is to actually be thinking about this diagnosis in the right situation. ...Read more

Dr. Joel Gallant
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Dr. Joel Gallant
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What are the symptoms of leptospirosis?

Flu-like symptoms: The disease starts with a fever, headache, and other flu-like symptoms. After recovering from those symptoms, you can then go on to develop meningitis, kidney failure, and liver damage with jaundice. ...Read more

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What are the tests for leptospirosis?

See below: Clinical features and lab testing are not specific, a high index of suspicion must be maintained for the diagnosis. Cultures can be done growing the bacteria. Serologic test: labs and include the microscopic agglutination test (mat), macroscopic agglutination test, indirect hemagglutination, and elisa. Mat is considered the gold standard. Molecular techniques (pcr) are being developed. ...Read more

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How is leptospirosis transmitted and how is it treated?

Surroundings: Humans most often become infected after exposure to environmental sources, such as animal urine, contaminated water or soil, or infected animal tissue. Portals of entry include cuts or abraded skin, mucous membranes or conjunctiva. The vast majority of infections with leptospira are self-limiting. Although penicillins, tetracyclines, chloramphenicol, and Erythromycin have antileptospiral activity. ...Read more

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My dog has leptospirosis, currently under treatment. Should I get my children and spouse and myself checked, too?

My dog has leptospirosis, currently under treatment.  Should I get my children and spouse and myself checked, too?

Discuss With Doctor: Human Leptospirosis infection can occur mainly from exposure to urine of an infected animal. 90% of infections occur with mild or no symptoms. Severe illness can result in jaundice, kidney failure & more. Symptoms are: fever, chills, headache, nausea, rash & more. Treated with antibiotics (AB). Recommend you discuss exposure w/ your doctor to monitor for symptoms & to discuss treatment options. ...Read more

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How is leptospirosis spread and what part of the body is most affected by the disease?

Animal urine: You get leptospirosis from contact with the urine of animals, especially rodents. This may occur with the ingestion of contaminated water, food or soil. The disease starts with a fever, headache, and other flu-like symptoms. After recovering from those symptoms, you can then go on to develop meningitis, kidney failure, and liver damage with jaundice. ...Read more

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Can you get leptospirosis from a pet bunny rabbit?

Highly unlikely-: Other infections such as franciscella tularensis (tularemia) potentially, yes- but not leptospirosis from petting a bunny. However, if you are the one responsible for cleaning up rodent feces and urine, you could get it if the bunny is infected and one were to inhale dtried particles of its feces or urine. ...Read more

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Do people with leptospirosis have a lot of pain?

They certainly can!: Leptospirosis can cause significant flu-like body pains. That seems to get better after 1-2 weeks then more serious problems set in including severe organ damage. Leptospirosis must be diagnosed and treated promptly and appropriately to avoid serious problems! ...Read more

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Dr. Joel Gallant
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