Weil’s Disease

Below you will find more information about Weil’s Disease from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Weil’s Disease it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Weil’s Disease and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Weil’s Disease comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.

Definition

Weil's disease is a potentially fatal infection caused by an organism known as Leptospira ictero-haemorrhagiae that most rats carry and excrete in their urine.

Diagnosis

Usually, Weil's disease is suspected if the physician is made aware that the patient had contact with any potential source of the infection. Following a suspicion of Weil's disease, samples must be cultured in appropriate centers to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment

If detected early, Weil's disease can be cured with targeted drugs. However, most physicians in urban areas may never have encountered the disease.

Symptoms and Signs

The infection has an incubation period of 7 to 13 days, after which the first symptoms begin to appear. At the onset, the infection manifests with fever, aches and pains in the muscles, unexplained appetite loss, as well as vomiting with prostration. The fever usually lasts for approximately 5 days, and then followed by rapid deterioration of the body's functions. Later signs of Weil's disease include a distinct bruising of the skin, nose bleeds, sore eyes, and jaundice.

Causes

Weil's disease is an infection caused by the Leptospira ictero-haemorrhagiae organism, which is transmitted to humans from rats. Approximately 50 to 60% of rats are carriers of Leptospira ictero-haemorrhagiae. This infectious organism is usually excreted through their urine. The disease is commonly spread through exposure to sewage systems, contaminated water, and unsanitary sites. Leptospira ictero-haemorrhagiae typically invades the body through breaks in the skin such as blisters, abrasions, and cuts, or through the lining of the throat, nose, or alimentary tract.

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