Heads up, Leptospirosis ever get sick ?

Ever get sick after a canoe or kayak trip. If so when you go to the doctor make sure you mention Leptospirosis, a bacterial infection that has been on the rise worldwide. Only 100 to 200 cases a year are reported in the U.S. but that’s because many doctors make a wrong diagnosis because symptoms mimic many other diseases. It comes from urine of contaminated animals and has been found in all kinds of animals. Sorce is water born or soil/mud. It enters through mucosal surfaces (eyes/nose)or an open cut. It can kill you rather quickly if not correctly diagnosed. It causes kidney and liver damage and meningitis (swelling of the brain)treated it lasts only a few days , untreated three to four months if it doesn’t kill you. See http://www.chennaionline.com/health/homearticles/lepto.asp

also be aware that the risk is much
higher on flooded waterways after heavy rains. I guess it washes all the farm animal pee pee into the water.


Like, what are the symptoms, having never gotten sick from kayaking before? Sore, definitely; tired, often–but not sick.

And is it regional? Is it seasonal? How does one protect themselves from this infection?

But, more important, is this really a threat we need worry about? 100-300 per year? And it may or may not be mis-diagnosed since I doubt we have any stats on that. But to be fair, let’s add 500 undiagnosed cases. That’s, what, max 800/yr?

Bee stings and Tylenol KILL many times that many people each year. How about drowning? Falling off ladders? And our blind eye to the 40,000+/yr who die in auto accidents?

What should we do with this info, I mean really? Are you just throwing out some unconstructive fear? You are looking at a risk factor of .000000267. That’s sooooo small.

I think we are just trying to share some
information that might possibly benefit a fellow paddler some day. What are you trying to do?

What Do You Do With the Imfo?

– Last Updated: Dec-06-04 7:40 PM EST –

Well, you could just stick your head in the sand and hope you or no one you know ends up with Lepto, or worse, undiagnosed Lepto, OR you could be an INFORMED paddler which may save your life or the life of a friend! And I'm certain those with allergies to bees and Tylenol are AWARE, and don't ignore that. BTW, Tylenol death "Stats" are inaccurate due to the fact that many INTENTIONALLY overdose on it. Leptospirosis is primarily a risk in areas with high densities of farm animals, especially after heavy rains. Good thread, N.T., I'm sure many of us APPRECIATE the fact you brought this to our attention. WW

that’s what I like about salt water
much less likelyhood of water bourne deseases.

Oh… South Florida…nevermind "8-P
Just a heads up, not trying to scare anyone.

I’m not trying to be mean here

but you still haven’t told anyone what to do about it. What are the symptoms? How does one protect themselves? Is it really a risk to worry about? What’s the incubation period?

So instead of me “sticking my head in the sand” how about informing me? If you look at your statement it isn’t really informative because it offers nothing we can use. It doesn’t make me an INFORMED kayaker.

Maybe it’s just after all of those “orange alerts” Tom Ridge inflicted on us that instilled fear without any useful way to protect ourselves. This and our concern with obscure and unsubstantiated threats to our health like cell phones that I wonder if we forget that most adventures (and life in general), especially on the water, involve some forms of risk and we are smart enough to realize this.

I know you meant well and I apologize for my tone but this threat is 3000! times LESS likely than being hit by lightening. Should we really worry about it before we go out on the water?

Am I the only one that thinks this way? If I’m out of line I’ll retract what I’ve said but sometimes we worry too much.

NT has a LINK with the imfo. I ASSUME you can read it yourself if you go to the link. WW

If you click on the link in the
origional post, your questions about symptoms/incubation period will be answered.

Knowledge is power my friend, the more knowledge you have, the LESS you have to worry about.

I posted a link
I didn’t expect much in the way of responce to this thread. It’s just a heads up. This was in the news a week or so ago. An open water swimmer had contracted the desease so many times and almost died at one point that he wanted people to be aware of it. If you are interested there are hundreds of web pages on the subject…If your not interested why bother?

WOW NT, this guy can’t even open
a link. Should we even talk to him?

Chances are
that cases could be on the rise, given the Bush administration’s attack on the environment. Undermining the controls of the Clean Water Act will only profit the polluters.



Now be nice…
I went to the site, but since it also supports Ayurveda, homeopathy and astrology I thought I’d wait until I heard back from http://www.quackwatch.org/

before I credit that site as legit. They have my inquiry.

I will admit that in the third world nations where water supplies are poorly monitored, the people are often ignorant of proper disease-prevention and healthcare is spotty Lepto should be a concern. Also, certain occupations should be aware. And, I suppose, it’s good you brought it up.

I still think it is a tiny, tiny worry for us and, as far as kayaking is concerned I don’t see anything we could do to protect ourselves. The symptoms are so diverse or even non-existent that I still don’t know what to do with the info.

Stay off the water?

Now there’s a point!

Regardless of our concerns about terrorism, family values, etc. the environment is going to suffer and this, I guess, could become a bigger issue than I think it is now.

Very pertinent observation if some of our waters approach third world standards.

Here’s an issue to be concerned about!

Who Would Have Thought…
…a thread by NT to INFORM us would turn into fodder that needs to be sent to the B&B? “Thanks,” Norb, too bad some people enjoy bickering just for “Sport!” WW

I’m confused but –
is this something I should worry about? I don’t usually worry about anything except other boaters and the occasional manatee or alligator when I paddle. Can Manatee urine cause this? Are they subject to becoming infected? Will Neosporin applied to an open cut, prior to water contact, prevent this stuff from getting in my blood stream?

I’m guessing alligator urine (and fish urine) are not subject to this bacteria because they are cold blooded? Can my water purifier filter this stuff out? I’ve become sick before for weeks after extended paddle/camping but thought it was just the result of eating spoiled food or something. Maybe I had this stuff and didn’t realize it. If I did, could it be I’ve built up a tolerance to it now and have nothing to worry about? I hope so. I’d hate to think that I have this stuff and should no longer pee in the pool at the Y.

Now I can see how some people develop Obsessive Compulsive Disorders: The medical world seems to favor the Chicken Little approach. Of course it’s all driven by the big drug companies and stockholders (mostly republicans) who want impressionable people like me to buy into it and spend what little money, time and resources I have to support their lifestyle.

I guess I don’t understand how you can post something alerting people to a reportedly deadly infection, have someone rationally question the subject and then take offense to the questions raised about it?

I’m sorry but I think all legitimate information is good, not just one sided information and I also think that scaring the heck out of people needlessly is dangerous.

Thanks for the information and for including some base statistics. I have not gone to the link nor do I intend to. I choose not to worry about it and put the effort into something more beneficial to my paddling safety, like being struck by lighting.

I remain blissful, the happy idiot.

No Don’t worry…unless
you have flu like symptoms that do not go away in a normal amount of time. If things start to go downhill see your doctor and mention to him that lepto is a possibility. A simple urine test will tell.