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February 19, 2018

Leptospirosis Outbreak claims more victims in Puerto Rico

At least 4 people have died, 10 other cases are confirmed by the government but close sources in hospitals say that many others throughout the island are hospitalized after an outbreak of the leptospirosis bacteria (Weil’s disease). The government is being negligent informing the public about the truth of the outbreak and is now trying to educate the people. The lack of power in water treatment plants is making the outbreak even worse.

You can contract this bacteria it if you come into contact with the urine, blood, or tissue of animals or rodents that are infected with the bacteria. These may include:

  • cattle
  • pigs
  • dogs
  • rats

You can also contract it from contact with contaminated soil or water, which is the most probable cause in Puerto Rico as people are bathing and doing laundry in rivers, canals and lakes where untreated waste water is being dumped. Leptospirosis typically causes mild flu-like symptoms, such as headache and chills. If the bacteria infect some specific organs, there may be a more severe reaction. These organs include:

  • liver
  • kidneys
  • lungs
  • heart
  • brain


This reaction is known as Weil’s disease. In some cases, it can lead to organ failure and death. If you’re diagnosed with leptospirosis, your doctor will prescribe a course of antibiotics to treat it. But if you develop Weil’s disease, you may need to be admitted to a hospital for extra care.