September 15, 2000CDC Investigating Leptospirosis
Among Participants in Eco-Challenge
(SafetyAlerts) - The Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced it is working with state and
local health departments around the United States to investigate cases of Leptospirosis
among people who recently participated in the Eco-Challenge Sabah 2000 Expedition Race
held in Malaysian Borneo, August 20-September 3, 2000.
Several athletes from Idaho and California have reported being ill with fever and muscle
aches. Preliminary laboratory tests at CDC suggests a diagnosis of Leptospirosis.
Approximately 155 persons (not including media and family members of participants) from
the United States participated in the event. CDC is encouraging athletes who participated
in the event and are ill to contact their physician about treatment with appropriate
antibiotics. Athletes who participated in the event and are not ill should also contact
their physician to decide if they should take antibiotics to prevent getting sick.
Leptospirosis is caused by a bacteria that is transmitted to humans through water
contaminated with urine from infected animals. It is not spread from person to person. The
most common symptoms in persons who have Leptospirosis are fever, chills, red eyes,
stomach ache, vomiting, and diarrhea. The disease is often not diagnosed properly. If the
disease is not treated properly, patients can suffer kidney damage, meningitis, liver
failure, and breathing problems. In rare cases death can occur.
The Eco-Challenge Race is held each year in a different location around the world. The
race involves teams of men and women participating together in jungle trekking, canoe
paddling, canyoneering, open water swimming, mountain biking, scuba diving, and caving.
For more information on leptospirosis see the CDC
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