Leptospirosis, the relatively rare bacterial infection is making another resurgence in the Dominican Republic. Over the last four weeks 122 new cases of leptospirosis have been diagnosed and so far this year there have been 34 fatalities as a result of the illness. According to recent statistics published by the Ministry of Public Health Epidemiology Department, there have been 584 suspected cases, a 3% increase over last year.
Leptospirosis is caused by exposure to several types of the Leptospira bacteria, which can be found in fresh water that has been contaminated by animal urine. It occurs in warmer climates. It is contagious, and can be spread by contact through open wounds or the mouth coming into contact with objects dirtied by the urine, blood or skin of infected animals or humans.
The July rainstorms in Central America and the ensuing floods resulted in the resurgence resulting in 27 of the 34 reported fatalities.