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Doctors are probing a suspected human case of the potentially deadly disease leptospirosis, thought to have been contracted in the River Weaver in Nantwich.

It’s believed a patient in intensive care at Leighton Hospital has displayed symptoms of the condition, also known as Weil’s Disease.

Further tests are being carried out and a confirmed diagnosis is unlikely for several days, Mid Cheshire Hospitals Trust said today.

The disease is more commonly spread by rat urine contaminating water courses such as rivers and canals.

Nantwichnews sources say it is thought the patient may have caught it from the River Weaver.

The infection causes sudden fever-like symptoms similar to flu, but in severe cases, it can lead to organ failure and death if not treated urgently.

Last year, Olympic rower Andy Holmes is believed to have died from Weil’s Disease after returning to the sport.

Warning signs are now on display in veterinary hospitals in Nantwich as dogs in particular are prone to the disease.

Andrew Kent, of Nantwich Veterinary Group, said: “It can lead to liver/kidney failure in both humans and dogs.

“There are occasional cases of leptospirosis in people but it is more commonly seen in dogs as they come into contact with sources of infection – so any dog that swims in lakes and rivers is at risk.

“We see a case of leptospirosis in dogs once or twice a year but they have almost always travelled out of this area.

“This is a condition we routinely vaccinate against so owners should ensure they are up to date with their annual vaccinations, especially if they walk in areas of water and their dog likes swimming.”

A statement from Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said leptospirosis had not been confirmed as it takes “around ten days” to obtain a diagnosis.

“Whether the patient is found to have leptospirosis or not, due to the way the disease is transmitted, no isolation is necessary or infection prevention measures required,” it added.

One dog owner told Nantwichnews: “I was told older dogs and smaller pups are more vunerable and sometimes the vaccine can only give a few months’ protection.

“This is an awful disease and lots of children like to play by and in the River Weaver as well.”

One Comment

  1. Hopefully this person recovers quickly.

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