Leptospirosis (Weil’s Disease) Alert

A junior member of Champs is receiving hospital treatment for leptospirosis, caused by infection with by Leptospira bacteria. It is thought that he contracted the disease after a capsize in the Cam, during which he may have swallowed river water.

Please remind yourself of the British Rowing guidelines on water-borne infectious diseases to ensure you know how to mitigate the risks and the symptoms to look out for: http://www.britishrowing.org/upload/files/RowSafe/5-3-WaterborneDiseases-v1.pdf

In 90% of cases, leptospirosis only causes mild flu-like symptoms, such as a headache, chills and muscle pain. However, in some cases the infection is more severe and can cause life-threatening problems. In its most severe form, leptospirosis is also known as Weil’s disease.

Animals in countries all over the world carry Leptospira bacteria but the infection is most common in tropical areas with warmer climates. In the UK, leptospirosis is not very common, with around 50 to 60 cases in England and Wales each year (approximately one case per million people per year). Contact with river water does increase the risk of infection, but following the simple measures listed by British Rowing will help you stay safe.

 

May 2015

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