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Travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK

Leptospirosis in India (Update)

02 Aug 2016

Following a surge in cases of leptospirosis the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) collected random blood samples of dogs, cows, buffaloes and cats from the Mumbai; the majority of the cattle samples tested positive for leptospira bacteria.

The BMC reported that over 15 people have tested positive for leptospirosis in the past week, and that one person died from infection in July 2016.

Advice for Travellers

Leptospirosis infection occurs worldwide but human cases are more common in tropical climates, areas where the standard of hygiene is poor and frequently follows flooding after heavy rains.

Leptospirosis is transmitted via contact with fresh water, wet soil, or vegetation that has been contaminated by urine of animals that are chronically infected. 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.

Travellers should be aware of the risk and avoid exposure to contaminated water where possible.