Dive into Summer, but Beware…


Leptospirosis may be Lurking



What is Leptospirosis?

It is a bacterial disease passed from animal to human that thrives in warm, tropical areas and can live for long periods in fresh water and mud. It is not spread through person to person contact


How do you get it?

  • Swimming, wading, hiking, and fishing in freshwater ponds, streams, and waterfalls contaminated with animal urine

  • Farming, gardening, or touching moist soil contaminated with animal urine

  • Touching urine, blood, or tissues of infected animals

  • Drinking contaminated water

  • Exposure to flood waters


Signs & Symptoms

  • fever

  • headache

  • chills

  • sweating

  • muscle pain

  • painful eyes

  • vomiting

  • Occasionally: yellowing (jaundice) of the skin and the whites of the eyes and a rash

If you have any of these symptoms please see your health care provider.



  • Wear protective clothing when working with shrubs or grass or wet soil

    • Pants, gloves, boots, long sleeves

  • Control rodent population

    • Rats and mice are the most common source in Hawai’i

  • Vaccinate farm animals and pets

  • Avoid swimming in freshwater especially with open cuts or sores

    • Swimming with head underwater increases risk

  • Do not drink pond or stream water without boiling or chemically treating

  • Keep catchment tank areas free of overhanging branches and prevent access to area by animals