Journal Article

Outbreak of Leptospirosis among Triathlon Participants and Community Residents in Springfield, Illinois, 1998

Juliette Morgan, Shari L. Bornstein, Adam M. Karpati, Michael Bruce, Carole A. Bolin, Constance C. Austin, Christopher W. Woods, Jairam Lingappa, Carl Langkop, Belinda Davis, Donald R. Graham, Mary Proctor, David A. Ashford, Mary Bajani, Sandra L. Bragg, Kathleen Shutt, Bradley A. Perkins and Jordan W. Tappero

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 34, issue 12, pages 1593-1599
Published in print June 2002 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online June 2002 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/340615
Outbreak of Leptospirosis among Triathlon Participants and Community Residents in Springfield, Illinois, 1998

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We investigated an outbreak of leptospirosis among athletes and community residents after a triathlon was held in Springfield, Illinois. A telephone survey was conducted to collect clinical information and data on possible risk factors, community surveillance was established, and animal specimens and lake water samples were collected to determine the source of the leptospiral contamination. A total of 834 of 876 triathletes were contacted; 98 (12%) reported being ill. Serum samples obtained from 474 athletes were tested; 52 of these samples (11%) tested positive for leptospirosis. Fourteen (6%) of 248 symptomatic community residents tested positive for leptospirosis. Heavy rains that preceded the triathlon are likely to have increased leptospiral contamination of Lake Springfield. Among athletes, ingestion of 1 or more swallows of lake water was a predominant risk factor for illness. This is the largest outbreak of leptospirosis that has been reported in the United States. Health care providers and occupational and recreational users of bodies of freshwater in the United States should be aware of the risk of contracting leptospirosis, particularly after heavy rains.

Journal Article.  4466 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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