Leptospirosis Symptoms

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Leptospirosis can cause very varied symptoms in humans. Some people do not present any symptoms, and in the majority of cases (90%), those who do tend to present a non-specific febrile syndrome.   

Person with hand on temple with headache

Headache, typically localised around the forehead and behind the eyes.  

Low back pain

Muscular pain, especially in the lower back and calves.  

Irritated red eye

Reddening of the eyes and conjunctivitis in 30% of cases.  

sweating, nausea and vomiting

Gastrointestinal symptoms (vomiting and diarrhoea).   

In some cases, a second phase of the disease may occur. It is typically more serious, and is known as icteric leptospirosis or Weil’s disease (5-10%). In this phase, the liver, kidneys, nervous system (meningitis) or lungs may be affected. A yellowing of the skin or mucus membranes (jaundice) is very typical.   

In some cases, there may be haemorrhaging or multiple organ failure, including death of the patient.   

Complications occur particularly in people over 40, and are also influenced by genetic factors (both of the person and of the bacteria).  

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