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Pathognomonic Signs of Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis is a quite a rare bacterial infection caused by a strain of Leptospira transmitted from animals to humans through wounds in the skin or contact with water contaminated with urine of animals like rats, skunks, opossums, foxes and racoons. Lately, because of the prevalence of floods in urban city, Leptospirosis had become a common bacterial infection among people in cities because some people have the habit of swimming or unavoidably need to walk through floods which are potentially contaminated with the urine of rats.

There are two main types of Leptospirosis namely the Mild and the severe. Typical signs and symptoms of mild leptospirosis included Chills, Coughing, Diarrhea, Headaches, these can come on suddenly, High fever, Muscle pain, Nausea, Poor appetite and Skin pain. These symptoms are similar to people with pneumonia and some people mistake it for the same until it is too late when the Leptospirosis becomes severe, which is life-threatening because it can cause organ failure and internal hemorrhaging. Hence, parents and friends should be on the lookout for certain symptoms to check if a person is suffering instead from Leptospirosis.

A pathognomonic sign for leptospirosis or a sign whose presence means that a particular disease is present is “Conjunctival suffusion.” This is characterized by extreme redness of the eyes due to subconjunctival hemorrhage. Thus, one’s you see a person having extreme redness of the eyes along with other symptoms, after getting submerged in flood, he or she is most probably infected with leptospirosis and should therefore seek immediate medical attention. If this happens, the patient would most probably experience Irregular heartbeat, Nosebleeds, chest pain, panting and yellowing of the whites of the eyes, tongue and skin or jaundice.

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