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Travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK

Leptospirosis in Dominican Republic

19 Dec 2016

 

On 14 December 2016 a media reportLink asserted that 560 people have been infected with leptospirosis, and 41 people have died of the disease to date in 2016.The number of cases has been attributed to flood water following heavy rains in the north of the country.

Ministers and hospital directors are reported to have met to discuss management strategy.

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.