Reported case of leptospirosis increase in Thailand with onset of rice planting

A total of 567 cases of leptospirosis have been reported from lower northeast area in Thailand. The area includes Nakhon Ratchasima, Chaiyaphum, Buri Ram, Surin and Si Sa Ket provinces. There have been 9 deaths. Rice farmers are most at risk since their legs are constantly exposed while working in the water in the paddy fields.

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, like whitewater rafting, swimming, kayaking 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, e.g., wearing waterproof boots and other protective clothing.

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

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