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Leptospirosis in humans

Leptospirosis is an infectious disease caused by special bacteria called leptospira. Most of the disease can be obtained by bathing in a small pond contaminated with Leptospira or eating raw water, meat or milk of animals suffering from leptospirosis. There are several types of this disease, some of which can be very dangerous for human life.

Leptospirosis affects the liver, kidneys, brain, leads to severe intoxication, can cause bleeding disorders and bleeding. Who is the source of infection, how to recognize and how to treat leptospirosis? The answers to all these questions you will find in this article.

So, leptospirosis is caused by the same microorganisms, leptospira. Leptospira are spiraling bacteria that love a moist environment. These microorganisms die under the influence of sunlight, disinfectants and high temperature (for example, at 55 ° C - after half an hour, at 100 ° C - instantly). Among the leptospira there are pathogenic species, that is, potentially dangerous for humans, and saprophytic (neutral, not causing the disease) buy amoxil online.

Pathogenic varieties of leptospira are known about 200! Due to this number of pathogens, leptospirosis is heterogeneous in the symptomatology of the disease. The most studied and frequently encountered varieties of leptospirosis are infectious jaundice, Japanese 7-day fever, water fever, canine fever.

The main source of leptospirosis are animals. They are a natural reservoir of infection. It can be both wild animals and domestic animals, as well as birds, amphibians, reptiles. With feces of infected animals, leptospira are released into the environment, where they can exist for a rather long time, while retaining their activity. The warmer and more humid the climatic conditions, the better for leptospira, therefore, this disease occurs most massively in the tropics. The only place on earth where there is no leptospirosis is Antarctica.

How can a person get infected? There are several ways of infection with leptospirosis.

1. Contact. In cases where the pathogen enters the human body by direct contact with damaged mucous membranes and skin. This is possible, for example, when swimming in a pond containing leptospira (especially small ponds with standing water), or when cutting carcasses of patients with leptospirosis of animals, or when working with soil contaminated with leptospira. Damage to the skin and mucous membranes can be microscopic, completely invisible during normal examination, but sufficient to penetrate the pathogen.

2. Water. When consumed inside the raw water containing the pathogen. Did you drink water from an unknown source somewhere in the forest? It was quite possible to swallow and leptospira (although not only them).

3. Nutritional. When eating thermally inadequately processed meat, the milk of infected animals. Food can also be infected by other means. For example, an ordinary house mouse ran through the room, sick with leptospirosis, gnawed seeds or cookies, accidentally left on the table, and left their feces. And then the man regaled himself with cookies from the same vase - and that's all, leptospira got into the body.

Of course, employees of livestock farms, agriculture, fishermen and hunters are those people who are at risk in the first place. People are very susceptible to leptospirosis, especially in the summer-autumn period. You should know that the chain of transmission of infection is interrupted on a person. This means that a person with leptospirosis is not contagious, not dangerous to others.

Symptoms

This may seem strange, but the ingestion of leptospira into the human body is not accompanied by any sensations or changes. Leptospira through the skin (mucous membranes) penetrate into the lymphatic vessels, pass through the lymph nodes (which do not delay them), and then enter the internal organs. Leptospira "love" the kidneys, liver, spleen, lungs. In these organs they settle for a while and begin to multiply intensively. And, having already significantly enlarged their ranks with brethren, leptospira go to the bloodstream. Up to this point, no symptoms are found. All this period of time is in fact an incubation period of infection and lasts from 2 to 30 days (usually 7-14 days). The duration of the incubation period varies depending on the number of leptospiraes found and the reactivity of the human body.

Entering the bloodstream marks the onset of the disease. Suddenly, the body temperature rises to 39 ° -40 ° C, there is a strong chill, pain in the muscles and joints, headaches, severe general weakness, nausea and vomiting, poor appetite, thirst. The heart rate increases. The heat lasts for several days (up to 12), and then decreases. Sometimes after normalization of body temperature, it may be re-raised after a few days, as if a second wave. Not always the normalization of body temperature means improvement. It also happens that the temperature drop does not reach normal figures, and then the subfebrile condition continues for a long time (that is, the body temperature rises to 37 ° -37.5 ° C).

The initial period of leptospirosis is characterized by reddening of the skin of the face, neck, upper chest, vascular sclera ("red eyes"), possibly the appearance of a rash on the skin (but not necessarily), an increase in lymph nodes.

Since leptospirosis is a serious disease, its treatment is carried out only in a hospital. Usually it is an infectious disease department, however, in severe cases, patients are transferred to a resuscitation unit.

The main directions in the treatment of leptospirosis are direct control of the pathogen and individual pathogenetic therapy (which implies the treatment of affected organs, taking into account the mechanism of disease development).

Direct control of the pathogens to date is done with the help of antibiotics. Previously, for the same purpose, a specific leptospirosis immunoglobulin was used. However, the use of this agent in severe forms did not give the expected result, so at present it is not used.