Child Safety

Lepto-Infected Puppies From Puerto Rico Expose Children & Families

Health officials in New Hampshire are sounding a warning about dogs brought into the state from Puerto Rico earlier this month. Five of the puppies have since fallen ill and at least one of them has tested positive for leptospirosis.

Officials with New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services say that on November 12, an unspecified number of puppies were brought to a business in Hanover where locals were encouraged to play with and, ultimately, adopt them. But now, anyone who actually played with the dogs is encouraged to speak to a qualified medical professional about possible lepto exposure.

If you were at the event but did not interact with any of the animals, you are not at risk and should not be concerned, they add.

What Lepto Is

Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection spread through urine. Livestock like cows, pigs and horses can carry the bacterium, as can dogs and some wildlife. Typically, people only contract lepto through direct contact with urine or soil and bedding contaminated with urine. In the U.S., lepto outbreaks are rare and most often associated with disasters like flood.

In humans and dogs, leptospirosis is treated with antibiotics. If not treated, lepto can lead to organ failure, meningitis and severe breathing problems.

Symptoms of leptospirosis can include fever, headache, chills, muscle aches, vomiting, diarrhea, cough.

Leptospirosis Fact Sheet From CDC


Photo by Spencer Imbrock on Unsplash

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