Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects humans and animals. It is caused by bacteria of the genus Leptospira. In humans it causes a wide range of symptoms, and some infected persons may have no symptoms at all. Symptoms of leptospirosis include high fever, severe headache, chills, muscle aches, and vomiting, and may include jaundice (yellow skin and eyes), red eyes, abdominal pain, diarrhea, or a rash. If the disease is not treated, the patient could develop kidney damage, meningitis (inflammation of the membrane around the brain and spinal cord), liver failure, and respiratory distress. In rare cases death occurs.
What is required?
Health Care Providers and Clinical Laboratories
Health care providers and clinical laboratories are required by law to report cases and suspect cases of leptospirosis to local health departments within one week of identification.
For Local Health Departments
For reportable diseases lacking Oregon-specific investigative guidelines or case report forms, please contact the state epidemiologist on call for assistance at 971-673-1111.