What are the signs and symptoms of leptospirosis?

Updated: Jul 08, 2021
  • Author: Sandra G Gompf, MD, FACP, FIDSA; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Leptospirosis ranges in severity from no symptoms to a mild illness suggesting a viral infection to a multisystemic syndrome with unique features. It is characterized by sudden onset of the following:

  • Fever (38-40°C)
  • Rigors
  • Headache, retro-orbital pain, photophobia
  • Muscle pain localized to the calf and lumbar areas
  • Conjunctival suffusion
  • Dry cough
  • Nausea and vomiting, diarrhea

More severe disease manifests as icteric leptospirosis, also known as Weil disease, with the following features:

  • Icterus or frank jaundice
  • Renal failure with oliguria
  • Hemorrhagic features
  • Systemic inflammatory syndrome or shock

See Clinical Presentation for more detail. 

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