Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease caused by the bacteria Leptospira, and can affect a wide variety of mammals, but it tends to be most commonly associated with raccoons in the Midwest parts of the country. Raccoons, like all other mammals, are susceptible to several types of disease, including Rabies, Roundworm, and more. Leptospirosis is commonly contracted and passed on by raccoons, bats, and opossum in urban areas. It is a dangerous illnesses that can be contracted by both humans and pets.
What You Should Know About Leptospirosis
There are nearly 200 cases of Leptospirosis reported every year in the United States. It is mostly contracted through water contaminated by an infected mammal’s urine. It is not spread from person to person, and instead, often happens during swimming, fishing, canoeing, and other water-related activities. The infected water must be ingested, or passed through exposed membranes or open wounds in the skin. This includes the eyes, nose, mouth, scrapes, cuts, scabs, and ears. Once contracted, it is common for humans to not experience illness or symptoms at all, while in other cases, people become very sick. This also applies to domesticated animals. It is vital to get immediate medical care for antibiotics to avoid long-term effects and consequences if you suspect you were exposed to Leptospirosis.
Symptoms can sometimes not show up at all, but if they do, it generally takes anywhere from one to two weeks before symptoms show. Common symptoms include high fever, neck and leg pains, severe headaches, vomiting or diarrhea, and fatigue. For more serious cases of Leptospirosis, signs might also include anemia, Meningitis, kidney failure, liver failure, mental confusions, depression, and more.
The symptoms of Leptospirosis can last for several days, or up to several weeks, depending on the severity of the illness. But mostly, human reports of Leptospirosis illness in the United States are all mild cases. People at higher risks of contracting Leptospirosis include sewer workers, farmers, rice and sugar cane workers, adventure racing athletes, veterinarians, miners, slaughterhouse workers, and animal control contractors. Dogs are at higher risk of dying from Leptospirosis, so take them to the vet as soon as they show influenza-like symptoms.
Indiana Raccoon Removal
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