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Travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK

Leptospirosis in Malaysia

14 Oct 2014

Jeram Toi waterfall and recreational park, which is a popular tourist attraction, has been closed for two weeks. This action was taken following the diagnosis of leptospirosis in four local teenagers who went swimming at the falls. The four youths are in a stable condition in hosptial.

The health and local authorities are to clean up the area of the falls and park and visitors are being asked not to leave uneaten food and waste in the park as this will attract rodents and other animals that carry leptopsirosis.

The Jeram Toi waterfalls are located about halfway between Seremban and Kuala Kelawang in Negeri Sembilan state on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia, just south of Kuala Lumpur.

Advice for Travellers

Leptospirosis is caused by contact with fresh water, wet soil, or vegetation that has been contaminated by urine of animals that are chronically infected with leptospira. The infection is transmitted through unhealed breaks in the skin, the eyes, or the mucous membranes. Rats, dogs, cattle, and pigs are the usual reservoirs for this organism. Leptospirosis occurs worldwide and frequently follows flooding after heavy rains.

Travellers should avoid swimming in waterfalls/pools that appear to be poorly maintained.