Increases in cases of leptospirosis in Acre, Brazil

In March, there was a sudden increase in reported cases of leptospirosis in the state of Acre. Of the slightly more than 1,700 reported cases this year, 1,100 cases were reported in March. The municipality of Rio Branco has reported most of these cases. The historic floods along the Acre River have contributed to increased human-rodent contact.

Leptospirosis is acquired through skin exposure (especially if there are open wounds) to water or damp soil that has been contaminated by an infected animal's urine. For travellers, this exposure usually occurs through recreational water activities or during floods. The risk of acquiring leptospirosis is higher after a period of heavy rainfall or flooding. Travellers can reduce the risk of exposure to leptospirosis during floods or heavy rainfall by avoiding contact with flood waters, or by wearing waterproof boots and other protective clothing.

Visit our Health Library for more information on exposure to and the prevention of Leptospirosis.