Significant increase in leptospirosis cases in…

In Brazil, the number of leptospirosis infections recorded in 2022 has doubled during the winter heavy rains in Recife in the state of Pernambuco. Between May 23, 2022 and July 7, 2022, there were 36 cases of the disease in the capital, Pernambuco, compared with 18 cases in the same period in 2021. Patients are mostly young men. make rain.

So far in the state of Pernambuco there have been 797 suspected cases of leptospirosis of which 108 have been confirmed. Eight deaths have been reported, of which two have been confirmed and six are still under investigation.

Reminder about leptospirosis:

Leptospirosis is a disease caused by bacteria worldwide. Leptospirosis is caused by bacteria Leptospira’s interrogator. This is quite easily maintained in the external environment (fresh water, muddy soil), promoting pollution. The seasonal nature of the disease is very pronounced, with summer-autumn outbreaks related to temperature and rainfall.

bacteria of the genus Leptospira capable of infecting a large number of wild mammals (rodents and insectivores: rats, tengues, shrews, etc.) and domestic animals (cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, etc.) , dogs), they act as reservoirs and excrete them in the urine. Bacteria can survive for several months in a warm, humid environment. There are more than 250 serotypes of species Leptospirawith certain serotypes endemic to a certain geographical area.

Certain occupations (farmers, livestock, drainage workers, garbage collectors, etc.) and people who practice water sports (swimming, sailing, kayaking, fishing, hunting, etc.) shooting, canyoning, etc.) pose a particularly high risk. In humans, the bacteria enter mainly through injured skin or mucous membranes.

The disease is usually mild, but complications can occur, including kidney failure which can lead to death in 5 to 20% of cases. The incubation period lasts from 4-14 days.

  • In the moderate form, the disease begins with a high fever accompanied by chills, headache, and diffuse myalgia and arthralgia. In 20% of cases, it is complicated by hemorrhagic syndrome.
  • Severe forms (icterohaemorrhagic or Weil’s disease) combine acute renal failure, neurasthenia (convulsions, coma) and profuse bleeding (pulmonary, gastrointestinal).

The initial nonspecific clinical signs (headache, fever, myalgia) can lead to delays in diagnosis and treatment due to confusion with differential diagnoses such as influenza, chikungunya, or dengue.

Precautions and personal protection against leptospirosis:

  • Avoid bathing with fresh water, especially when there is a wound, and when the water is cloudy or cloudy;
  • Avoid contact with water, nose, mouth and eyes;
  • Avoid walking barefoot or wearing open sandals on muddy ground, standing puddles, ravines (especially in surgical departments);
  • Protect the wound from contact with water with a waterproof dressing;
  • Wear protective equipment during high-risk occupational activities (livestock, wastewater workers, garbage collectors, farmers, land work, etc.) including boots, gloves, wading suits , protective clothing, even splash-proof goggles in case of exposure hazard; practice white water sports such as canyoning, kayaking, including protective suits, boots and gloves.
  • Control rodents, which are reservoirs of disease.
  • After taking the risk:
  • Wash with drinking water and disinfect the wound;

Consult a doctor immediately in the event of the appearance of symptoms, informing him of the risky operation carried out in the previous two weeks.
These measures will be strengthened during the rainy season.

There is a vaccine against leptospirosis. Its effectiveness is limited to certain strains of leptospira, it is rarely done in practice, mainly involving specialists.

Source: ProMED.


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