French Public Health and the Réunion Regional Health Agency are warning of a surge in leptospirosis cases. A serious disease that affects more humid and tropical areas, but also infects 600 people annually in metropolitan France, especially with the onset of rains and more moderate temperatures.
“If it is not treated in time, leptospirosis can lead to hospitalization or even death.” The Réunion ARS has made no secret of its concern and is warning this week of a surge in cases of this serious disease on the island.
In a press release issued on Tuesday, April 19, the health agency notes “a sharp increase in reports in Réunion with 99 cases of leptospirosis” between March and April.
This disease, often benign, can lead to kidney failure, “even death in 5-20% of cases,” recalls the Pasteur Institute. It is caused by a bacterium often found in rats or other rodents, and is transmitted by contact with moist environments contaminated with the urine of these infected animals, such as mud, puddles, standing water at the edge of ravines.
Rain as an accelerator
Thus, the French Public Health Service reminds of the rainy season that is currently on the island. accelerator about the increase in cases. This period “represents favorable conditions of temperature and rainfall for the survival of the bacteria that cause this disease in the environment.”
With recent shower that contribute to “leaching the soil and polluting the environment”, the disease has every chance of flourishing.
The animal reservoir is very diverse and, in addition to rodents and insectivores, includes farm animals such as cattle, horses or pigs, infestation of which occurs frequently and leads to significant economic losses, as well as domestic animals such as dogs. All of these animals shed leptospira in their urine. pastoral institute
And do not think that it affects only tropical areas, leptospirosis affects everything around. 600 people per year in metropolitan France. Even if “the incidence is 50 or 100 times higher in tropical regions such as French overseas communities or many countries in Latin America and Southeast Asia,” the Institute’s pastor points out.
It is estimated that more than one million severe cases of the disease occur each year worldwide. mortality over 10%.
What are the symptoms?
leptospirosis translates after an incubation period of 4 to 14 days as the big flu, which can largely be confused with Covid-19.
Then appears heat tall and fierce pain joints and muscles, ailments stomach, nausea or even vomiting. Infected people may also experience headaches. “If it is not treated in time with antibiotics, it can be fatal,” ARS warns.
As stated above, in places wet what is developing bacterium. Also several events avoid, gardening and raising chickens in the garden is not recommended on the island. In short, interaction with earthy soils which may be associated with animals, especially rodents.
freshwater vacation also need to be careful. Fishing, swimming in the river or pool, white water sports. However, ARS softens and indicates that the majority of people affected by leptospirosis are represented by “unprotected wounds or did not have sufficient protection (boots, gloves, goggles, overalls, etc.).
Therefore, for the best fight against this disease, it is necessary first of all to protect your wounds, postpone rest in fresh water in case of cloudy water, protect yourself with boots and gloves. But also prevent the appearance of rats and rodents by keeping your garden clean, especially during periods of heavy rains. If it refers to an island in the Indian Ocean, the French in metropolitan France must be careful if all the ingredients are present.