Published Date: 2008-07-08 02:03:58
Subject: PRO/MBDS> Leptospirosis - Thailand
Archive Number: 20080708.2065
LEPTOSPIROSIS - THAILAND
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
[PRO/MBDS regrets the delay in posting. - Mod.MPP]
Date: Tue 1 Jul 2008
Source: China View, Xinhua Net [edited]
Thailand's Public Health Ministry on Tuesday [1 Jul 2008] ordered all
the 76 provinces across the country to be on alert for the emergence
The ministry said a total of 587 people were found infected by the
[organism], and 15 died from the disease recently [see data presented
in moderator comments below - Mod.MPP]
Prat Boonyawongvirot, the ministry's permanent secretary, was quoted
by local news group The Nation as saying that the most infectious
cases were found during the rainy season.
He said people with cuts or rashes on their legs who wade through
floodwater are 15 times more at risk of contracting the disease.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial zoonotic disease caused by spirochetes
of the genus _Leptospira_, which affects humans and a wide range of
animals, including mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles.
In humans, leptospirosis causes a wide range of flu-like symptoms,
including high fever, severe headache, chills, muscle aches,
vomiting, jaundice, red eyes, abdominal pain, diarrhea, or rash.
[According to the above newswire, a total of 587 cases and 15
fatalities of leptospirosis were identified in Thailand in 2008.
Leptospirosis is caused by a spirochete and can be transmitted
through contact with water or soil contaminated with urine from
infected animals, predominantly rodents. The disease is predominant
during the rainy season, and its symptoms include a febrile syndrome
with asceptic meningitis, nephritis, hepatitis, myositis, and conjunctivitis.
According to the Thai Ministry of Public Health surveillance data,
during the period 1 Jan 2008 through 1 Jul 2008, there have been a
total of 715 cases and 16 deaths attributable to leptospirosis
reported countrywide (see
<http://220.127.116.11/surdata/disease.php?ds=43> for data for 2008 and
follow link to 2551).
Checking the data available on the Gideon website (Global infectious
diseases and epidemiology network) <http://www.gideononline.com>,
information on the numbers of cases of leptospirosis reported
annually since 1972 was available. In the below list, the number of
cases and deaths reported each year is presented in brackets
following the year (cases/deaths).
1972 (2/0), 1973 (2/0), 1974 (14/0), 1975 (25/2), 1976 (27/1), 1977
(26/3), 1978 (12/1), 1979 (24/2), 1980 (20/3), 1981 (21/0), 1982
(55/2), 1983 (113/1), 1984 (112/5), 1985 (121/11), 1986 (194/7), 1987
(174/9), 1988 (272/12), 1989 (207/5), 1990 (190/8), 1991 (158/2),
1992 (166/0), 1993 (102/0), 1994 (100/7), 1995 (143/4), 1996
(398/19), 1997 (2349/113), 1998 (2229/113), 1999 (6080/266), 2000 (14
285/362), 2001 (10 217/171), 2002 (6864/95), 2003 (10 217/82), 2004
(4958/45), 2005 (2868/40), 2006 (3866/52), 2007 (2824/NA).
According to information found on the Gideon website, the principal
reservoirs in Thailand are rats and dogs. Seroprevalence surveys
demonstrated that 11 percent of dogs in Chiang Mai were positive (see
ref 1); 10 percent of sows in Central Thailand with 55 percent of
these positive towards serovar grippotyphosa (see ref 2); and 58
percent of Asian elephants (_Elephas maximus_) in northern Thailand
and 59 percent in western Thailand were seropositive (see ref 3).
The predominant organism seen in Thailand is _Leptospira interrogans_
serovar. bataviae, which predominates in Bangkok (see prior
ProMED-mail posting Leptospirosis - Thailand (02) 19971121.2345 at
<http://www.promedmail.org>.), and serovar. autumnalis, which
predominates in rural areas. Serovars icterohaemorrhagiae and
javanica are also encountered.
In 2007, there was a PRO/MBDS report of a 26-year-old man from Hong
Kong who had a recent travel history to Thailand who was diagnosed as
having leptospirosis upon return to Hong Kong (see prior PRO/MBDS
posting Leptospirosis - China (Hong Kong) ex Thailand: RFI
For a map of Thailand showing the geographic regions, see
For the interactive HealthMap/ProMED map with links to other
ProMED-mail postings in Thailand and neighboring countries, see
1. Meeyam T, Tablerk P, Petchanok B, Pichpol D, Padungtod P.
Seroprevalence and risk factors associated with leptospirosis in
dogs. Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health 2006 Jan ;37(1):148-53.
2. Niwetpathomwat A, Luengyosluechakul S, Geawduanglek S. A
serological investigation of leptospirosis in sows from central Thailand.
Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health 2006 Jul ;37(4):716-9.
3. Oni O, Sujit K, Kasemsuwan S, Sakpuaram T, Pfeiffer DU.
Seroprevalence of leptospirosis in domesticated Asian elephants
(Elephas maximus) in north and west Thailand in 2004. Vet Rec 2007
Mar 17;160(11):368-71. - Mods.YMA/MPP]
Leptospirosis - China (Hong Kong) ex Thailand: RFI 20070623.2028]
[For background information on outbreaks of leptospirosis carried on
the general ProMED-mail list <http://www.promedmail.org>, see below. - Mod.YMA]