Leptospirosis: Rat Urine and Soda Can Lids

Did you get this warning about rat urine and soda can lids in your email?

The Email Notice

This incident happened recently in North Texas: A woman went boating one Sunday taking with her some cans of cola which she put into the refrigerator of the boat.

On Monday she was taken to the hospital and placed in the Intensive Care Unit.

She died on Wednesday.

The autopsy concluded she died of Leptospirosis.

This was traced to the can of cola she drank from, not using a glass. Tests showed that the can was infected by dried rat urine and hence the disease Leptospirosis.

Rat urine contains toxic and deathly substances. It is highly recommended to thoroughly wash the upper part of soda cans before drinking out of them.

The cans are typically stocked in warehouses and transported straight to the shops without being cleaned.

A study at NYCU showed that the tops of soda cans are more contaminated than public toilets (i.e.).. full of germs and bacteria. So wash them with water before putting them to the mouth to avoid any kind of fatal accident.

End of Email Notice

It’s a good idea to take this warning seriously. I suggest you got to http://tinyurl.com/qyv9p and learn more about this disease. The rapid development of the disease is verified to be between 2 days and 4 weeks after exposure. Here are some symptoms described at the site:

Illness usually begins abruptly with fever and other symptoms.

Leptospirosis may occur in two phases; after the first phase, with fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, vomiting, or diarrhea, the patient may recover for a time but become ill again. If a second phase occurs, it is more severe; the person may have kidney or liver failure or meningitis. This phase is also called Weil’s disease.

The illness lasts from a few days to 3 weeks or longer. Without treatment, recovery may take several months.

From what I read, the sudden death of the women is surprising but different people have different reactions to disease. Death is not all that common.

The disease is caused by bacteria. It is easily treated if diagnosed properly. Rural people and veterinarians are subject to the disease. Water contaminated with rodent urine can cause the disease. Farmers, fish workers, and others working in a contaminated environment should wear protective foot ware.

If you are a rural or outdoor family I suggest you read the information at http://tinyurl.com/qyv9p.

I also recommend that you read about the Hantavirus at [http://www.doh.wa.gov/topics/hanta.htm]. The Hantavirus is a related disease caused by rodents.

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