According to health officials, 123 suspected cases of leptospirosis and 73 confirmed cases, including 19 fatalities, have been reported in Kerala state as of early September. The outbreak followed a series of devastating floods that affected the state in August.
Leptospirosis, also called Weil's disease, is a bacterial disease spread via the urine of infected animals. Known carriers include rodents, cattle, pigs, and dogs. Symptoms of the illness include fever, nausea, muscle aches, vomiting, and diarrhea. If left untreated, leptospirosis can result in death.
Individuals present in the affected area are advised to avoid all contact with animals (especially rodents), and to refrain from swimming or wading in water that may have been contaminated by animal urine. Individuals who believe they may have contracted leptospirosis should seek immediate medical attention.
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