Increasing number of cases of leptospirosis in Sri Lanka

There are reports of 614 cases of leptospirosis reported so far, mostly in the districts of Anuradhapura, Kalutara, Galle, Kurunegala, Ratnapura and Moneragala. Rice paddy farmers are at higher risk of contracting this infection. The largest outbreak (71 cases) is in Anuradhapura.

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.