Leptospirosis is caused by the bacteria leptospires that live in the kidneys and genitals of many types of animals. You can get infected through contact with the urine (pee) of these animals or water that is contaminated by infected urine.

Symptoms usually start with flu-like symptoms within 2 to 14 days of getting exposed to the bacteria, but it could be as long as up to 30 days before you have symptoms.

You will need antibiotics for treatment of leptospirosis.

Protection involves following handwashing guidelines, and taking care not to touch animal urine by covering cuts and grazes and wearing personal protective equipment in a high-risk environment.


Leptospirosis Factsheet


Last updated 23 February 2023.