More people fell ill due to leptospirosis in 2017 and 2018

Compared with previous years, both 2017 and 2018 saw an increase in the number of patients who became infected by leptospira bacteria, which cause a rare but serious condition.

The latest figures from Statens Serum Institut show that the number of leptospirosis cases has increased in recent years.

In 2017 and 2018, a total of 23 and 19 cases were found in which patients had become infected by leptospira bacteria. That is an increase compared with the previous seven years, when an average below ten cases was recorded.

Leptospirosis is a rare but occasionally serious condition caused by infection with different types of Leptospira, which are found, among others, in the urine of rats and mice and which may, e.g., be transmitted via contact to contaminated freshwater.

The increase was, among others, associated with a small outbreak in connection with a so-called swimrun competition in Denmark, but the increase was also seen among persons who had become infected while travelling abroad. 

For more information, please see EPI-NEWS 4/5, 2019