S: WHO – http://www.who.int/zoonoses/diseases/Leptospirosissurveillance.pdf (last access: 19 November 2015); CDC – http://www.cdc.gov/features/leptospirosis/ (last access: 19 November 2015).
N: 1. From leptospira and -osis.
Leptospira: From Gr. adj. leptos, thin, narrow, fine; L. fem. n. spira, a coil, helix; N.L. fem. n. Leptospira, a thin helix or coil, referring to the morphology of the bacterium.
-osis: word-forming element expressing state or condition, in medical terminology denoting “a state of disease,” from Latin –osis and directly from Greek -osis, formed from the aorist of verbs ending in -o. It corresponds to Latin -atio.
2. The Leptospira bacteria can be found in fresh water that has been contaminated by animal urine. The infection occurs in warmer climates.
Leptospirosis is not spread from person to person, except in vary rare cases. It occasionally spreads through sexual intercourse, breast milk, or from a mother to her unborn child.
3. Risk factors include occupations that expose people to farm animals, wild animals, and to contaminated water and soil (farmers, slaughterhouse workers, veterinarians, miners, military personnel, disaster workers and victims, for example). People who participate in outdoor activities like camping or kayaking are also at higher risk for infection. Any exposure to sewage or animal waste increases risk of getting leptospirosis.
4. Symptoms begin from 2 to 25 days after, initial direct exposure to the urine or tissue of an infected animal. This can even occur via contaminated soil or water. Veterinarians and farm workers are at particularly high risk.
The illness typically progresses through three phases. The first phase of symptoms includes headaches, muscle aches, eye pain with bright lights, followed by chills and fever. Watering and redness of the eyes occur and symptoms seem to improve by day 5 to 9. The second phase of illness begins after a few days of feeling pretty well. The initial symptoms recur with fever and aching with stiffness of the neck. Some patients develop serious inflammation of the nerve to the eye, brain, spinal column (meningitis), or other nerves. The final third phase, from 2 to 4 weeks after the initial infection, features recurrent fever and muscle aching.
5. Alternate names for leptospirosis include mud fever, swamp fever, cane cutter’s fever, rice field fever, Stuttgart disease, swineherd’s disease, Fort Bragg fever, canefield fever, canicola fever, field fever, spirochetosis and swineherd disease.
More severe cases of leptospirosis are called Weil’s syndrome or icterohemorrhagic fever.
S: 1. http://www.bacterio.net/leptospira.html (last access: 20 November 2015); OED – http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=-osis (last access: 20 November 2015). 2. MEDLP – https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001376.htm (last access: 19 November 2015). 3 & 4. MN – http://www.medicinenet.com/leptospirosis/page2.htm (last access: 19 November 2015). 5. TFD – http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/leptospirosis (last access: 19 November 2015); NORD – https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/leptospirosis/ (last access: 19 November 2015).