What are the Causes of Leptospirosis?
The Leptospira bacteria can be found in soil or fresh water that has been contaminated by the urine of an infected animal.
Human infection occurs through direct contact with such water, soil or plants. The bacteria enter the body by-
- Ingestion of contaminated food or water
- Through cuts or abrasions on the skin
- Through the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose and eyes
Person-to-person transmission of leptospirosis is rare.
Risk factors for leptospirosis infection include-
- Occupational exposure- farmers, slaughterhouse workers, veterinary doctors, rice field workers, fish workers, mine workers, dairy farmers and military personnel
- Recreational activities- fresh water activities like swimming, rafting, canoeing and kayaking
- Household exposure- pet dogs, domesticated livestock, rainwater catchment systems and infected rodents