What is the focus of history in suspected leptospirosis?

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

A good clinical history is often the key to accurate diagnosis in leptospirosis. Important features include a plausible exposure history and a clinical picture consistent with the disease.

The exposure history may reveal direct contact with body fluids or organs of infected animals, or indirectly (eg, via contaminated soil or water). Direct exposure often occurs in occupational cases, while indirect exposure is more typical of cases contracted during travel or recreational activities rivers (eg, white-water rafting). Onset of clinical illness occurs abruptly, after an incubation period of 2-30 days (typically 5-14 d).


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