Take Precautions Against Leptospirosis

The Clifton Health Department is issuing a reminder to residents to be mindful of and to protect themselves and their pets against leptospirosis. Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects both humans and animals. The bacteria that cause leptospirosis are spread through the urine of infected animals, which can get into water or soil and can survive there for weeks to months. Many different kinds of wild and domestic animals carry the bacteria, which include, but are not limited to: dogs, horses, cattle, and rodents. Animals infected with the bacteria usually do not show symptoms, but may continue to excrete the bacteria into the environment continuously or every once in a while for a few months up to several years.

It’s important to understand that humans can also become infected, specifically through contact with urine (or other body fluids, except saliva) from infected animals; contact with water, soil, or food contaminated with the urine of infected animals. The bacteria can enter the body through skin or mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth), especially if the skin is broken from a cut or scratch. Drinking contaminated water can also cause infection. Person to person transmission is rare.

For further information, a downloadable press release is available from the link below.

The Clifton Health Department is a contractual health agency serving the Township of Little Falls.

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