Leptospirosis is a disease caused by the Leptospira bacteria. People can catch it when they come in contact with the urine or birth products from infected animals. It is a particular risk for dairy and pig farmers.
Leptospirosis is also spread by rats and known as Weils disease. It usually enters the body through cuts or scratches in the skin. Banana farmers are at particular risk.
Leptospirosis causes a flu-like illness with symptoms including coughing, fever, chills, sore joints and general weakness. In 2008 there were 112 reported cases in Australia. To prevent leptospirosis, vaccinate cattle, control rodents and wear protective clothing.
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