In the wake of flooding from Tropical Storm Noel, last month, there is a outbreak of leptospirosis in the Dominican Republic. The article, from Reuter’s also went to to say that there has been 25 deaths and almost 200 illnesses.
Leptospirosis is a spirocheate that is most commonly acquired through skin contact with infected fresh water. Animals such as rats carry the disease and shed the infective organism in their urine. The usual method of infection is the hiker or forest walker, with a few cuts on their legs, gets splashed or wades in standing fresh water and acquires the infection. Symptoms include fever, headache, jaundice and leg pains. This infection may progress to a fatal meningitis/encephalopathy, if untreated. Treatment is with an antibiotic (penicillin) and there is some literature to suggest prophylaxis with weekly doses of doxycycline.
To learn more about leptospirosis visit the adventure doc leptopsirosis page