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: 100-200 leptospirosis cases are identified annually in the United States, with around half of those occurring in Hawaii. The largest recorded U.S. outbreak occurred in 1998, when 775 people were exposed to the disease. Of these, 110 became infected.Although incidence in the United States is relatively low, leptospirosis is considered to be the most widespread zoonotic disease in the world.Significant increases in incidence have been reported from Peru and Ecuador following heavy rainfall and flooding in the spring of 1998. Thailand has also reported a rapid increase in incidence between 1995 and 2000.