Leptospirosis: An important zoonosis acquired through work, play and travel

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Lau, Colleen L
Townell, Nicola
Stephenson, Eloise
van den Berg, Debra
Craig, Scott B
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2018
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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Leptospirosis is one of the most common zoonotic diseases worldwide. Infection occurs through contact with infected animals, or soil or water that has been contaminated by the urine of infected animals. Risk factors include occupational and recreational exposures, contact with floodwaters, and travel to areas with a high risk of leptospirosis, particularly tropical, developing countries. With climate change, flood-related outbreaks are becoming more common. OBJECTIVE: This article aims to improve awareness of leptospirosis, and provide an update for general practitioners on its epidemiology, risk factors, clinical presentation, laboratory diagnosis, management and prevention. DISCUSSION: Leptospirosis is sometimes misdiagnosed because clinical presentation can be non-specific and overlap with many other causes of acute febrile illnesses. In patients with risk factors for leptospirosis, a high index of clinical suspicion is important to ensure early diagnosis and treatment. Delays in treatment could increase the risk of severe complications, including pulmonary haemorrhage, acute renal failure and acute liver failure.

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Australian Journal of General Practice

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47

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3

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Colleen L Lau et al., Leptospirosis: An important zoonosis acquired through work, play and travel. Australian Journal of General Practice 2018, 47 (3), pp. 105-110. Available at https://www1.racgp.org.au/ajgp/2018/march/leptospirosis

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General practice

Disease surveillance

Bacteriology

Science & Technology

Life Sciences & Biomedicine

Medicine, General & Internal

General & Internal Medicine

BORGPETERSENII SEROVAR ARBOREA

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Lau, CL; Townell, N; Stephenson, E; van den Berg, D; Craig, SB, Leptospirosis An important zoonosis acquired through work, play and travel, Australian Journal of General Practice, 2018, 47 (3), pp. 105-110

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