Leptospirosis in Fiji

22 March 2022

Article: 56/1102

The Fijian Ministry of Health reports continuing outbreaks of leptospirosis (Weil’s disease) this year, with 991 cases, including 25 deaths, being recorded in Fiji from 1 January until 9 March 2022. 

Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection transmitted to humans from the urine of infected animals, often rodents with infection often occurring from water contaminated by infected animal urine. 

Advice for travellers 

Travellers participating in adventure and ecotourism, water-based sports activities, athletic endurance events, mountain biking and military exercises have an increased chance of exposure, especially if travelling to known-risk destinations. 

Travellers at increased risk of infection should be advised:

  • of the risk of infection and to seek medical help after potential exposure if they become symptomatic
  • to avoid exposure to potentially contaminated water especially of mucosa (swallowing or inhaling water) and abraded skin, including excoriated insect bites
  • to wear protective clothing if exposure is unavoidable
  • to cover open skin lesions with waterproof plasters and wash or disinfect any injuries sustained during possible exposure
  • to wash or shower thoroughly after possible exposure 

It should be noted there is no licensed vaccine available in the UK to treat leptospirosis. 

Further information on leptospirosis can be found on the TRAVAX (for health professionals) and fitfortravel (for the general public) webpages. 

Source: TRAVAX, 16 March 2022