a resident dies of a very rare disease in France, leptospirosis

A resident of Villabon, near Bourges died of leptospirosis, in other words, rat disease. This 56-year-old man died at the end of September. He had taken part a few days earlier in cleaning out a stream and no doubt he was infected with rat or coypu urine.

This disease affects around 600 people a year in France, and only 5 to 10% of cases are fatal. Without really knowing why, some patients develop a very severe form. Since 2014, the number of cases of leptospirosis has doubled in France, no doubt because the disease is better diagnosed today, in particular thanks to PCR tests as for Covid.

Symptoms are like the flu : “We know very well how to treat it with basic antibiotics specifies Doctor Yves Guimard, infectiologist at the Bourges hospital center. In particular, amoxicillin is prescribed and it works very well. The problem is that sometimes people have very serious reactions, and despite antibiotic therapy, have serious forms. With infectious diseases, moreover we also see it with the Covid, some people will present very weak symptoms and others, on the contrary, within the same family, will be severely affected without anyone really knowing why. . The reaction varies greatly from person to person.

Doctor Yves Guimard, infectious disease specialist at the Bourges hospital center.
© Radio France

Michael Benoit

Leptospires can reach the lungs, kidneys, infect the heart and the neurological system until sink the patient into a coma. Even if severe cases are rare, it is better to protect yourself when you have to go into the water and you have wounds: “When the skin has lesions, or wounds, these bacteria, leptospires, will take advantage of the skin lesion to interfere in the body. says Doctor Guimard. It is therefore necessary to be careful and to protect yourself well if you have injuries to the legs in particular. I am thinking of fishermen or farmers who sometimes maintain their banks.” Some professionals such as sewer workers, particularly at risk, are vaccinated against leptospirosis.

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