Pathophysiology: Leptospirosis is a type of bacterial infection spread by animals. It's caused by a strain of bacteria called leptospira. Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects both humans and animals. The early stages of the disease may include high fever, severe headache, muscle pain, chills, redness in the eyes, abdominal pain, jaundice, haemorrhages in skin and mucous membranes (including pulmonary bleeding), vomiting, diarrhoea and a rash. Leptospiral infection in humans causes a range of symptoms, and some infected persons may have no symptoms at all.
Treatment: Effective antibiotics include penicillin G, ampicillin, amoxicillin and Doxycycline. In more severe cases cefotaxime or ceftriaxone should be preferred.Glucose and salt solution infusions may be administered; dialysis is used in serious cases. Elevations of serum potassium are common and if the potassium level gets too high special measures must be taken. Serum phosphorus levels may likewise increase to unacceptable levels due to renal failure.
Statistics: Based on official notification data, there was a threefold increase in the reported incidence of leptospirosis in Ireland between 1995-1999 and 2004-2009, which appears partially to be due to improved reporting. The exposures most associated with infection were those involving contact with livestock or water-based recreational sports, in particular kayaking. in 2011, there were 17 reported cases of leptospirosis in Ireland.