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Leptospirosis is a dangerous zoonotic (common to animals and humans) infectious disease


A 23-year-old resident of the Pustomyty region was admitted to the intensive care unit due to leptospirosis. The victim was often engaged in fishing and probably could have been infected when he injured his hand with a fishing hook

The first complaints of high fever and indigestion in the man appeared on June 24. Already after 3 days, pain in the calf (characteristic of leptospirosis) and other muscles, lower back, as well as jaundice and headache were added to the general weakness. Because of weakness in the muscles of the legs, which prevented him from walking, the man sought medical help from the family doctor. On the same day, June 29, the victim was taken to the Lviv Regional Infectious Disease Hospital by an ambulance in an extremely serious condition.

As epidemiologists of the Lviv Center for Disease Control and Prevention of the Ministry of Health of the country found out, the man had several conditions for infection over the past 30 days.

Before the onset of the disease, he was constantly engaged in fishing (the last time was on June 23, on the eve of the appearance of the first symptoms). And three weeks before that, while fishing, he dived and injured his hand with a fishing hook. This could have caused the infection.

The man spent more than a week in the intensive care unit, and another week - for treatment in an infectious disease hospital. He was discharged home last week and is receiving outpatient treatment.

In Ukraine, the incidence of leptospirosis is seasonal and increases in spring and summer, when people spend more time near water bodies. For six months in Lviv Oblast, specialists of the Lviv Center for Disease Control and Prevention of the Ministry of Health of the country recorded 4 cases of leptospirosis.


Leptospirosis is a dangerous zoonotic (common to animals and humans) infectious disease caused by the bacterium Leptospira. Without treatment, leptospirosis can lead to kidney, liver, meningitis (inflammation of the membranes of the brain and spinal cord) and death.

The sources of leptospirosis pathogens are infected animals (patients and carriers of the pathogen) - mainly small mammals (mice and water-swimming rodents), insectivores, farm animals, dogs, industrial animals (foxes, etc.). The disease is not transmitted from person to person.

The causative agent enters the water with the urine of infected animals, most often small mammals (rodents). Leptospirosis can be contracted while swimming, fishing in infected reservoirs, its development, mowing hay in wet areas, while caring for sick and infected animals, etc. The causative agent of leptospirosis enters the human body through cracks, cuts, wounds on the skin or mucous membranes (eyes, nose, mouth). Eating infected food and water can also cause the disease.

A person can get sick between two days and four weeks after being infected. Symptoms range from mild (headache, fever, muscle pain, red eyes, diarrhea, rash) to serious (kidney, liver, meningitis) and even fatal (if medical attention and treatment are not sought in a timely manner).


Leptospirosis is often difficult to diagnose, because the symptoms are similar to the manifestations of other diseases - for example, they can resemble the flu. If you have symptoms of the disease, and you have recently been in contact with sick animals, potentially contaminated water, consumed appropriate food, water - consult a doctor. If leptospirosis is suspected, treatment should be started as soon as possible.

The risks of contracting leptospirosis are significantly reduced if you avoid staying and catching fish in potentially infected water, contact with sick and infected animals, vaccinating domestic and farm animals against leptospirosis, protecting drinking water and food from the access of mouse-like rodents, and taking measures to destroy rodents in personal homes.



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