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What is Leptospirosis?

Weils Disease

This is a serious and sometime fatal infection that is transmitted to humans by contact with urine form infected rats.

What are the symptoms?

It starts with a flu-like illness with a persistent and severe headache, which can lead to vomiting and muscle pains and ultimately to jaundice, meningitis and kidney failure. In rare cases the disease can be fatal.

Are you at risk?

Anyone who is exposed to rats or rats urine is at risk

How can I catch it?

The bacteria enter your body through cuts and scratches, and through the lining of the mouth, throat and eyes after contact with contaminated water such as sewers, ditches, ponds, or contact with infected urine.


Get rid of rats.

Wear protective clothing.

Always cover cuts and scratches with waterproof plasters before work and during work.

Wash your hands before eating, drinking etc., ensure protective clothing is decontaminated (where applicable) and removed correctly to prevent contamination.

What to do

Where you believe you may have contracted Weil’s disease contact your doctor and inform him/her of your work. Leptospirosis is much less severe if treated promptly.

You must let the University know if you have contracted this disease.

This information is based on the HSE leaflet INDG84