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Leptospirosis- Are you, your family and your pigs protected?

Leptospirosis- Are you, your family and your pigs protected?
July 8, 2019 admin

Are you and your animals Protected from Leptospirosis???

Did you know that New Zealand has one of the highest rates of leptospirosis in the world?

Did you know that pigs are considered common reservoirs of the bacteria that causes leptospirosis? The leptospirosis New Zealand website has provided us with some incredibly informative information, and we have decided to share this wonderful information with you below.

What is Leptospirosis?

Leptospirosis is an infectious disease caused by bacteria called Leptospira. There are over 300 different kinds of Leptospira worldwide but only 5 of these has been found to be circulating in New Zealand. These are called serovars. The 5 serovars circulating in New Zealand are called Hardjo, Pomona, Copenhageni, Ballum and Tarassovi. The bacteria can infect any mammal and can live in their kidneys. It is secreted in the urine of infected mammals and can survive in the environment (soil and water) for a long time.

How are humans infected ?

Humans usually become infected via direct or indirect contact with infected urine. The bacteria invade either through the body’s mucus membranes or through cuts and abrasions. For example, any surface water contaminated by infected urine that happens to splash into your eyes or mouth or contacts an open wound can result in infection. If you are assisting with a lambing or calving and are in direct contact with infected urine then you are also at risk.

What are the symptoms of leptospirosis in people?

In people it can cause a minor flu-like sickness, but may also make some people seriously ill, needing intensive care at hospital. They may be off work for several months, have lasting kidney or liver damage, and may suffer long term fatigue and depression. Traditionally the disease has mostly been occupationally-acquired with strong links to the meat processing, farming and forestry industries. Overseas, leptospirosis has also been linked with outdoor recreational pursuits. Leptospirosis is a dynamic disease and the preferred reservoir host, the geographical range of the disease and, the relative importance of different strains can change over time.

Over the past 15 years of leptospirosis research, we have found that:

  • the use of protective equipment does not prevent infection
  • two-thirds of people with leptospirosis are hospitalised
  • 1 in 3 people suffer effects long after infection (post leptospirosis symptoms)
  • more women are being affected
  • workplace compensation for people with leptospirosis can be challenging
  • the infecting serovars have changed
  • current diagnostics may not detect emerging or introduced serovars
  • rodents and the environment can maintain the Leptospira bacteria that infects humans

Leptospirosis is a severely debilitating disease that can cause long term illness and career loss due to disease.

Make sure you protect yourself, your family, your animals, your friends or anyone else in contact with your pigs from contracting leptospirosis by vaccinating your animals.

If you would like more information about leptospirosis, check out the leptospirosis New Zealand website here http://leptospirosis.org.nz/

How can The Lifestyle Vet help you?

To encourage pig vaccinations against leptospirosis we will be running weekly pig vaccination runs Auckland wide for the next few months. During these vaccination visits we will also providing you with educational information about leptospirosis so that we can help implement preventative strategies to protect you from this disease.

At The Lifestyle Vet we like to use a vaccination that is specifically licensed for pigs. This vaccine is called Lepto-Eryvac. Not only does this vaccine protect your pigs from leptospirosis, but it also helps reduce the incidence of another life threatening disease called Erysipelothrix that often affected pigs.

For more information about our upcoming pig vaccination runs, you can contact us at thelifestylevet@gmail.com or call us on 027 VET LIFE (0278385433).