Involving the environment, animals and people, leptospirosis is a classic One Health disease — and one that public health experts and veterinarians have in their sights.
The spread of leptospirosis relies on three things: the ability of its disease-causing bacteria to thrive in the environment; the presence of host animals — usually rodents — where the bacteria can reproduce and be passed; and interactions between animals, people and the environment.
Each year, leptospirosis affects 1 million people worldwide, and it can also cause serious disease in dogs, horses, livestock and wildlife. Once primarily found in the tropics, leptospirosis is now found elsewhere too, including in the United States.
Fortunately, there are leptospirosis vaccines approved for use in animals. Ask your veterinarian if that’s something they’d recommend.