How to protect yourself against leptospirosis

Contribution: Rachna Arya

Introduction

Monsoon has arrived, and the streets of several cities in India have been flooded. Preventing bacterial infections, which are commonly spread by contact with such contaminated water, requires some considerations and others to avoid.

Exposure to urine from infected animals, such as infected rats, cattle or dogs, or water contaminated with that urine can lead to a spike in a relatively rare bacterial infection called leptospirosis.

The bacteria that cause the disease are often transmitted from animals (such as dogs and rats) to humans when moving through wetlands.

Open wounds, eyes or mucous membranes are some of the places where bacteria enter the body.

Symptoms of leptospirosis in humans

Leptospirosis can sometimes cause mild flu-like symptoms or no symptoms at all. However, it can sometimes have dire consequences Kidney damagemeningitis, Liver dysfunctionAsphyxiation, pneumonia and even death.

The most common clinical presentations of leptospirosis include:

  • fever
  • cough
  • headache
  • Muscle discomfort
  • Skin rash without itching
  • loss of appetite
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Sore throat and cough
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • cold
  • red eyes
  • stomach ache

In this blog, we will discuss the diagnosis and treatment of leptospirosis. We will also give you the best foods to keep you disease free.

Helpful tips to avoid leptospirosis

  • Control pests, especially rodents
  • Wash hands with soap and water after handling animals and animal products
  • Avoid walking, swimming, or other contact in freshwater, such as rivers or streams, that may contain animal urine
  • Avoid swimming in water bodies after heavy rainfall or flooding
  • Purify unsafe water by first boiling it
  • Keep rats and mice under control
  • Wear protective clothing or shoes when handling contaminated water or soil
  • If your work involves animals, make sure you wear protective clothing or shoes
  • Avoid touching dead animals with bare hands
  • Clean all wounds as soon as possible and cover with waterproof dressings
  • Wear protective clothing at work
  • Avoid contact with anything that has come in contact with flood water
  • Avoid drinking water from rivers and lakes unless it has been boiled or chemically treated
  • Make sure your pet is properly vaccinated against leptospirosis

Rehydrate to maintain your health

Stay hydrated as dehydration can put stress on your organs, some of which can lead to jaundice in extreme cases.

So you must maintain both your body’s hydro-electrolyte balance and hydration levels. So, choose drinks made with glucose and salt solutions.

Make ginger a part of your diet

It is one of the most effective methods for treating leptospirosis. A study found that ginger extract reduced anti-inflammatory cytokines, which may prevent organ damage caused by leptospirosis.

Ginger can be added to soups, pulses and other dishes or consumed by sipping a cup of warm ginger tea.

Consume turmeric

Several studies have revealed promising therapeutic effects of curcumin in successfully combating leptospirosis.

Turmeric contains curcumin and this bioactive compound is a powerful antioxidant that can help patients with leptospirosis.

Food should be avoided

  • Milk and milk products
  • Drinks like tea and coffee
  • Ice cream and sweets
  • Non-vegetarian food products
  • egg
  • Cashew nuts and almonds

Diagnosis of leptospirosis

Leptospirosis can be diagnosed on clinical grounds using the following methods:

  • blood test. Your doctor may order blood tests to measure your complete blood count and your kidney and liver function, as well as to detect antibodies to leptospirosis.
  • Microscopic Agglutination Test (MAT). This test is considered the gold standard for the diagnosis of leptospirosis. The test checks your blood serum for leptospirosis antibodies.
  • Lumbar thrust. A lumbar puncture to check the cerebral spinal fluid for signs of meningitis.

last thought

Leptospirosis is a major threat to life. For this reason, it is extremely important to take precautions against contaminated water and diseased animals, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, or an older adult.

It is important to take adequate precautions to avoid this monsoon related illness. Making healthy eating choices to keep your immune system strong is the best way to avoid infections.

Get medical help if you have a rash or if you have been exposed to contaminated water or soil, unvaccinated animal or farm animal urine, or both.

As an add-on, make it a habit to take preventive health check-ups as they can help you gain complete insight into your health.

This will help you take measures to promote your overall well-being.

Book a full physical health exam today!

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