Travellers at risk of contracting canecutters disease

first_img<a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Canecutter’s disease is becoming a growing problem for travellers, according to research undertaken by the University of Queensland. Traditionally, the disease, which is known medically as leptospirosis, affects males working in the agricultural and livestock industries, as it is contracted from contact with the urine of host animals.  However, a team led by PhD researcher Dr Colleen Lau from the School of Population Health, have found that recreational exposure and international travel have emerged as increasingly important sources of infection over the past decade. “Many of the areas with a high incidence of leptospirosis are popular destinations for domestic and international travellers,” Dr Lau said. “With the increasing popularity of ecotourism and outdoor adventure activities, travellers are likely to become increasingly exposed through activities that involve contact with freshwater, soil and animals.” Leptospirosis causes influenza-like symptoms such as fever, chills, headache and jaundice but can lead to more serious illness including kidney failure, liver failure, lung haemorrhage, brain infections, and can occasionally be fatal. Called canecutter’s disease in Queensland due to the spread of the disease by canefield rats, the study, published in the journal Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease, has opened up a new way of looking at the spread of the disease. As an under-diagnosed cause of fever in travellers, Dr Lau and her co-authors, Professor Phil Weinstein and Lee Smythe, urged doctors to change their perceptions of the population at risk of contracting canecutter’s disease. “Early recognition, diagnosis, and treatment will reduce the incidence of severe illness and deaths,” she said. Known high-risk areas for canecutter’s disease include tropical and subtropical regions such as Queensland, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, parts of South East Asia and the Caribbean. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.Flast_img

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