Case of leptospirosis confirmed - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Case of leptospirosis confirmed

Posted: Updated:
 by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - There's at least one confirmed case of leptospirosis, another ten reported, and possibly as many as seventy.

According to Department of Public Health and Social Services director James Gillan, although this count represents those with clinical symptoms consistent with "lepto," there are no lab confirmations.

It's been speculated that the high number may be connected to the group of lost hash runners earlier this month, but Gillan could not confirm.

Leptospirosis is a bacteria that's spread by the urine of mammals and most often contracted by humans in water or mud. Although 95 percent of cases are mild and resemble the flu, 5 percent are severe resulting in extremes such as a kidney shutdown.

Department of Agriculture biologist Dr. Brent Tibbatts, hwo has experienced "lepto" twice, advises hikers to stay out of the water and mud as much as possible as the bacteria comes into contact with humans through mucous membranes or open cuts.

Both Gillan and Tibbatts note the disease has only been connected to southern hiking trails.

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