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Leptospirosis or Weil's disease is a relatively rare bacterial infection in humans which can also affects a wide range of animals.

The infection is commonly transmitted to humans by allowing water that has been contaminated by animal urine to come in contact with unhealed breaks in the skin, the eyes, or with the mucous membranes.

Leptospirosis is more common in February–March and August–September and on muddy riverbanks, ditches and gullies where there is regular passage of either wild or farm mammals.


  • Do not drink water from a river or lake
  • Always shower after contact with the water
  • Wash hands thoroughly before eating or drinking
  • Cover cuts and abrasions with waterproof dressings
  • Wear suitable footwear when launching or retrieving boats

Recent news item

Former GB Olympic rowing star Andy Holmes dies BBC - 25 October 2010

"Great Britain's double Olympic champion rower Andy Holmes MBE has died at the age of 51.
Holmes was part of the coxed four crew, which included Sir Steve Redgrave, that won a gold medal at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.
He then partnered Redgrave to gold in the coxless pairs at the Games in Seoul four years later.
Holmes is believed to have died from the bacterial infection Weil's disease, also known as leptospirosis."