Animal Rescue League of Boston issues warning amid ‘alarming’ spike in Leptospirosis cases

BOSTON (WHDH) - The Animal Rescue League of Boston is warning the public about an uptick in confirmed cases of Leptospirosis — a bacteria that can infect both pets and humans and can be life-threatening — after recently diagnosing three cases.

The spike in positive cases, the most recent over the holiday weekend, “is alarming,” the ARL said in an announcement Wednesday.

The organization says there have been 11 Leptospirosis cases in Massachusetts this year, five of which were in Boston.

The bacteria, which is spread through the urine of infected animals, can infect humans and animals through contact with the contaminated urine, water, or soil. In a city setting, it’s most commonly spread through the rodent population and is easily spread to humans.

Common symptoms include fever, increased drinking and urination, vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia, and weakness.

The ARL is encouraging dog owners to have a discussion with their primary veterinarian about getting their pets vaccinated for Leptospirosis.

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