Seasonal leptospirosis threat in Reuinion Island

Every year with the rainy season there is an increase in reported cases of leptospirosis. This year there have been 59 cases and 3 deaths.

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, or by 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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