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Charleston is known for its beautiful beaches, the diversity in food, and after Hurricane Hugo; its flooding issues. Being on the peninsula and under sea level, Charleston is more prone to being impacted by the effects of heavy storms. With the water having nowhere to go and accumulating, we could eventually see a rise in leptospirosis-related cases. Want to know what leptospirosis is and how you can keep you and your animal safe? Continue to read our tips below.

All About Leptospirosis

The word itself is pretty scary. Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that is spread through infected animal excretions. It is commonly seen in areas that are more prone to flooding. Humans and animals become infected when they come in contact with infected animal fluids, contaminated water, food or soil. According to the CDC, symptoms of leptospirosis include fever, headache, chills, muscle aches, vomiting, jaundice, stomach pain, diarrhea, and other symptoms. However, there are some people who become infected and never show symptoms.

Treatment and Prevention

Lepto is bacterial infections that have to be treated with antibiotics as soon as possible; any delay in medication can result in liver and kidney failure, and sometimes death. Those who live in tropical areas around the world are most susceptible to contracting a bacterial disease. The best way to prevent leptospirosis is to be aware of where your animals are playing when they are outside. Playing in areas such as lakes, puddles, or places with wet soil may not be the best place for them.

How to Keep You and Your Animal Safe

Summer is coming up, and you may be planning some vacations. The best way to keep you, your family, and your pets safe when traveling is to follow some of these tips below.

  • No swimming in contaminated lakes and rivers.
  • Research to see if the place you are traveling to has had excessive flooding or a recent outbreak of leptospirosis.
  • If your animal has been in an area that you believe may be contaminated avoid interaction with them until they are properly treated.
  • Do not wade, walk, or kayak through flood waters for any reason
  • Ask your veterinarian about any vaccines to protect your pets against contracting lepto or any other bacterial diseases.
  • If exposed to contaminated flood water, cover any cuts until you can be medically treated, and wear proper footwear

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