What information about leptospirosis prevention should patients receive?

Updated: Jul 08, 2021
  • Author: Sandra G Gompf, MD, FACP, FIDSA; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Patients should be advised to do the following:

  • Avoid contact with environments potentially contaminated with animal urine, especially rodent-infested areas.
  • Avoid swallowing or inhaling water from lakes, rivers, or swamps while swimming.
  • Shower promptly after swimming in fresh water and treat any cuts or abrasions with topical antibacterial medication and bandages.
  • Avoid participation in adventure racing activities with any cuts or abrasion of the skin.
  • Wear protective clothing and shoes.

Individuals who own dogs in warm climates with high rainfall may discuss vaccination with their veterinarian. At-risk animals are those that frequent areas where there are cattle, swine, rodents, or wild animals or that may drink from lakes, rivers, or streams in rural areas. Vaccination is repeated yearly.

Several polyvalent vaccines are available for immunization of livestock. Leptospirosis is a significant cause of stillbirths and reduced productivity in agriculture.


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