Hi All, A few of us were talking today and I said I'd re-post the following information for our new paddlers who are unaware of Leptospirosis or Weils Disease.Outdoor Safety:
There are a few potential risks that we come across whilst kayaking, one of these is Leptospirosis. I advise paddlers to (re)familiarise themselves to reduce the risk of infection.Disease Summary:
Leptospirosis is a bacterial illness that in its most severe form (Weil's Disease) infects the liver and kidneys and can lead to death. The common perception is that it is a 'rat disease', it is however an animal disease and can be caught from any infected animal. Infection:
The bacterium is passed in the urine of infected animals and can survive for months in wet soil. As paddlers this concerns us because we are constantly exposed to risk of infection. You are more likely to catch it on the bank than in the water, touching your mouth, nose, cuts or eating the magical Mars bar. Protection:
Hygiene is the key, carry (and use!) an alcohol based handwash before touching your mouth / nose, eating, or fixing a broken paddler. These are available cheaply (3 euro) at most good chemists.Further Information: Click for HSE Leptospirosis InformationClick here for Irish Water Safety's Weil's Disease Leaflet
I can't believe I volunteered for this...