According to health officials, at least 65 cases of leptospirosis have been reported in Réunion between January 1 and mid-April. Over 90 percent of infected patients were reportedly hospitalized. The areas most affected by the outbreak are communes in the south and west of Réunion.
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 Réunion 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.