> Nursing Reviewer > Care of Clients with Infections and Inflammatory Reactions : Leptospirosis

Care of Clients with Infections and Inflammatory Reactions : Leptospirosis

Important Information:
– Increased incidence during the rainy season because of flood
– Sewer workers, farmers, miners and slaughterhouse workers are among those at risk
– Disease of a low-form animal

AKA:
– mud fever
– Weil’s Disease
– Swamp fever
– Canicola Disease
– Pretibial Disease
– Swineherd’s Disease
– Ictero-hemorrhagic spirochetosis
– hemorrhagic jaundice

Causative agent: Leptospira interrogans

Incubation period: usually 10 days, but ranges from 4 t0 19 days

Period of Communicability: Usually for one month but may be as long as 11 months after the acute illness

Mode of Transmission
– contact of the skin (even if not abraded) or of mucous membranes with water, moist soil or vegetation contaminated with urine of infected animals, as when wading in floods
– Direct contact with excreta, urine or tissues of infected animals, ingestion of food contaminated with urine of infected rats

Diagnosis/Laboratory Exams : blood exams
– Leptospira agglutination test (LAT)
– Leptospira antigen antibody test (LAAT)

Signs and Symptoms
– flu-like symptoms begin abruptly with chills and fever, headache, muscular pains (specially the calf muscles) vomiting
– intense itchiness of the conjunctiva
– increase WBC count
– Jaundice appears on the 6th or 7th days with marked liver tenderness
– hemorrhage of the skin and mucous membranes
– pathognomonic sign: orange-colored skin and sclera

Management:
Prevention
– environmental sanitation; eradicate the source
– avoid wading in floods
– clean softdrink cans thoroughly

Treatment:
– Medical care is primarily supportive and symptomatic
– Tetracycline
> Contraindicated in children below 8 years of age and pregnant woman because of its teratogenic effect on bone growth of the fetus and staining of the teeth of the infant
> Not to be given with calcium-rich food because it binds with calcium
– Penicillin (given if allergic to tetracycline)

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