Date: Fri 13 Apr 2018 13:25
Source: Imaz Press [in French, trans. ProMED Corr.SB, edited]
Since the beginning of the year [the first 3.5 months of 2018], 65 cases of leptospirosis have already been reported in Reunion (against 50 for the whole of 2017). Nearly half of the cases were identified in the southern communes, and more than one-third in the western ones. Of the people infected with this bacterium, 90 percent were hospitalized and 35 percent were admitted to the intensive care unit.
The hurricane / post-cyclone season is the riskiest period because it has favourable temperature and rainfall conditions for the survival of the bacteria responsible for this disease. Reunion's heavy rains in recent weeks have probably contributed to the increase in the number of cases. Leptospirosis is a potentially serious disease caused by a bacterium often present in rats.
The disease is contracted during contact with a humid environment that has been contaminated by the urine of rats (mud, puddles, stagnant water at the edge of gullies). The bacterium enters the body through the skin in case of cuts or wounds (even if they are small). After a few days of incubation, leptospirosis manifests itself in the following symptoms: High fever (often> 38.5Â° C) [101.3Â° F], muscular and joint pain, stomach pain, and headaches. The disease can get worse after a few days. If it is not treated in time by antibiotics, it can be fatal.
As soon as these signs appear in the days following the practice of a risky activity, you must consult your doctor and inform him of the activity (s) practiced and the presence of rats during these activities.
[Leptospirosis is a zoonotic bacterial infection that is distributed widely throughout the world in warm climates and is transmitted to humans by direct contact of abraded skin or mucous membranes with the urine of infected animals or by contact with wet soil, vegetation, or water that has been contaminated with infected animal urine. _Leptospira_ bacteria shed in urine may survive in fresh water or moist soil for weeks to months.
Many species of wild and domestic animals (including dogs, cattle, swine, and especially rats) are susceptible to chronic kidney infection with pathogenic _Leptospira_. Different leptospiral serovars are prevalent in particular geographical regions. Inadequate disposal of trash and debris provides a suitable habitat for rat infestation in urban settings.
Outbreaks of leptospirosis frequently follow heavy rainfall, flooding with fresh water, and increasing rodent numbers. Reunion experiences seasonal outbreaks of leptospirosis probably related to the rainfall. Reunion, one of the overseas departments of France, is an island with a population of about 800 000 located in the Indian Ocean, about 943 km (586 miles) east of Madagascar and about 200 km (120 miles) south west of Mauritius, the nearest island.
A map showing the location of Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean and its main cities can be accessed at
A HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map of Reunion Island can be accessed at
>. - ProMED Mod.ML ]