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Leptospirosis

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Source: TH

 

Context: Leptospirosis is a dangerous infectious disease that has become significant worldwide, especially during monsoon season.

  • It is caused by the bacterium Leptospira interrogans and is primarily transmitted to humans through contact with the urine of infected animals.

The disease is more prevalent in warm, humid countries and is often associated with heavy rainfall or flooding. Leptospirosis can range from mild flu-like symptoms to severe organ dysfunction, and it is estimated to affect around 1.03 million people annually, resulting in approximately 60,000 deaths.

Leptospirosis is often misdiagnosed due to its symptoms resembling those of dengue, malaria, and hepatitis. Limited access to reliable diagnostics, lack of awareness among physicians, and insufficient environmental surveillance further contribute to inaccurate reporting of cases.

  

Prevention:

  • Preventing leptospirosis requires effective health education, community empowerment, and the adoption of preventive measures. Although commonly referred to as “rat fever,” leptospirosis can be transmitted by various animals, and seasonal patterns and extreme weather events exacerbate its incidence.
  • Proper waste management, improved sanitation facilities, and control of stray animals is crucial in preventing the disease.