Danger of Weil's Disease

Author: Katie Holmes

Weil’s Disease can cause serious illness or death!!!

What is it?

Sewers, rivers, ponds and canals also underground sites with stagnant water are usually infected with Weil’s Disease (leptospirosis). It is a bacterial infection carried in rat’s urine which contaminates water and nearby surfaces.

We catch it because the bacteria are absorbed through the skin and mucous membranes of our mouth and eyes. It gets into the blood stream more easily if you have a minor cut on your skin all cuts must be covered if this is not possible you must not carry out the work. if you fall into infected water you have been contaminated and must seek medical advice. Eating food with contaminated hands is the most common cause of catching this disease.


What should you do about it

Weil’s Disease can be a serious illness requiring hospital treatment and can lead to kidney or liver failure.

One patient in 19 dies.


The disease is notifiable the most common symptoms are:


An influenza -like illness

Severe headaches



Aseptic meningitis

Joint and muscle pains (pain in the calf muscles are often particularly noticeable)


Tell your GP you have been working in water and ask if you can have a blood test for Weil’s Disease.

Your GP many need to know the contact detail of the National Leptospira Reference Unit in Hereford UK

Tel: 01432277707

Email: [email protected]


How To Avoid It

Wash or shower after contact with possibly infected water.

Do not touch anything, ensure wash hands before eating or drinking.

Cover minor scratches on exposed parts of your body with water proof plaster.

Wear correct PPE at all times to reduce risk.


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