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Disease Name: Leptospirosis

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Please review the Idaho Reportable Disease Rules (IDAPA 16.02.10) for the most up-to-date information.

Leptospirosis: http://www.cdc.gov/leptospirosis/index.html

Overview / Case Definition

An illness characterized by fever, headache, and myalgia, and less frequently by conjunctival suffusion, meningitis, rash, jaundice, or renal insufficiency. Symptoms may be biphasic. Clinical presentation includes history of fever within the past two weeks and at least two of the following clinical findings: myalgia, headache, jaundice, conjunctival suffusion without purulent discharge, or rash (i.e. maculopapular or petechial); OR at least one of the following clinical findings:




Within 3 working days

Reportable by Healthcare and Labs:

Reportable by Food Service Facility:

Suspect Reportable:

Reporting Timeframe: Within 3 working days

Diagnosis / Testing

Clinical features and routine laboratory findings of leptospirosis are not specific; a high index of suspicion must be maintained for the diagnosis. Leptospira organisms can be isolated from blood or CSF specimens during the early septicemic phase (first 7-10 days) of illness and from urine specimens 14 days or more after illness onset. Specialized culture media are required but are not routinely available in most clinical laboratories. Leptospira organisms can be subcultured to specific Leptospira semi-sold medium from blood culture bottles used in automated systems within 1 week of inoculation. However, isolation of the organism may be difficult. Requiring incubation for up to 16 weeks, weekly darkfield microscopic examination, and avoidance of contamination. In addition, the sensitivity of culture for diagnosis is low. For these reasons, serum specimens always should be obtained to facilitate diagnosis. Immunohistochemical and immunofluorescent techniques can detect leptospiral antigens in infected tissues. PCR assays for detection of Leptospira DNA in clinical specimens have been developed but are available only in research laboratories. Leptospira DNA can be detected in whole blood during the first 4 days of illness and after 1 week in urine.


Additional Information

Leptospirosis: http://www.cdc.gov/leptospirosis/index.html

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