Weil’s disease, also known as leptospirosis, can be caught when the urine from an infected animal enters freshwater and the infected water gets into your mouth, eyes or a cut. In Britain, Weil’s disease is usually caught during water based activities such as kayaking, outdoor swimming or fishing.
To reduce the risk of infection:
- Before going on the water, ensure any cuts or grazes are covered with waterproof plasters
- After getting off the water wash your hands with soap and water as soon as possible and clean any wounds thoroughly
If you feel unwell at all after being on the water, then please consult a doctor especially if you have a high temperature or a headache. Tell the doctor you have been canoeing. Weil’s disease is caused by a bacterium and can usually be treated successfully with antibiotics.