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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Leptospirosis, Fatal - Denmark : (Copenhagen)

Via ProMed Mail, excerpt :

" Two men from the Copenhagen area have been diagnosed with leptospirosis, one of whom, a 62-year-old man, has died. The infection has probably occurred through contact with sewer water in cleanup of flooded basements.

After a heavy rainfall in Copenhagen on 2 Jul 2011, Statens Serum Institut became aware of 2 cases of leptospirosis or Weil's disease among men living in the Copenhagen area. In both cases these are people who have cleaned up the basement after rain. For cleanup, these people probably came into contact with sewer water that was contaminated with rat urine, which may contain the bacteria that cause

Leptospirosis is a rare disease caused by infection with bacteria of the genus _Leptospira_. These bacteria are found in many animals, but in Denmark it is usually bacteria from rats that cause the disease.

Infected animals excrete the bacteria in large numbers in the urine. Transmission to humans occurs either through direct contact with urine from infected animals or indirectly, through contact with freshwater that has been contaminated with infected urine.

In connection with clearing and cleaning the basement, where there is standing water after a flood, it is important to protect yourself by using personal protective equipment, such as boots and rubber gloves. After work is completed, a bath should be taken, dry thoroughly with a clean towel, and put on clean clothes."

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