Call for vigilance following the report of leptospirosis cases in the Auzat sector

Following the report of several cases of leptospirosis concerning people who have practiced canyoning activities on the Argensou river at the level of Auzat and Vicdessos in Ariège, the ARS is calling people who may have practiced a risky activity (canyoning, swimming in the river, fishing …) in this sector to consult their doctor quickly in case of symptoms.

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease. Its main reservoirs are rodents, especially rats, which excrete the bacteria in their urine. It is transmitted to humans by contact of damaged skin or mucous membranes with the urine of infected animals or fresh water polluted by this urine.

The disease, after an incubation phase of about ten days on average (5 to 20 days), is sudden onset. The diagnosis can be difficult due to the wide variety of signs that can be observed: a high fever setting in a few hours, accompanied by headaches, sometimes conjunctivitis, rash and often digestive disorders. In the absence of underlying pathology and if the antibiotic treatment is started early, the outcome is most often favorable and without sequelae.

Consult quickly in case of symptoms

“People with symptoms compatible with leptospirosis if they have been in contact with fresh water (lake, river, well, ditch, washhouse, etc.) in the 3 weeks preceding the onset of the signs, especially during their activities leisure activities on this site (canyoning, swimming, fishing, canoeing, etc.), are invited to consult their doctor quickly, specifying the risky context ”, underlines ARS Occitanie. In this case, the prescription of a targeted antibiotic treatment and the laboratory confirmation of the infection will be necessary.

To date, around ten confirmed or probable cases have been reported to the ARS. Health professionals in the sector were made aware and the site closed as soon as the first case was confirmed.

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