Weil ’s disease, which is also known as Leptospirosis, is a rare water born disease caused by organisms present in the water. This disease leads to a slight fever like feeling at the beginning which grows into fatal damages like kidney and level failure, resulting in the affected person even die because of jaundice.

Only 40 – 50 cases of Leptospirosis is reported every year across Britain out of which not more than two people get killed of this disease year by year. The major cause of this disease is the water organisms present in stagnant water bodies, and the chances of obtaining this disease is extremely low in rowing, as all the activities are performed in fresh water rivers & lakes, and sea water.

Despite the low risk of rowers obtaining this disease, British Row has advised all the rowing schools and clubs across UK to take utmost care in protecting their members against Weil ’s disease. You find below some of the vital information which everyone indulged in rowing should know.

Symptoms of Weil ’s disease generally start showing up in one to two weeks after infection, whereas in rare cases it may show in just 2 – 3 days or around a month after infection. Infections without any symptoms are very rare and most people show flu like symptoms like fever, headache, vomiting and chillness in the body, which are more severe than normal flu.

Diagnosis is done through blood test and clinical test, after which the doctors can refer the affected persons to a special laboratory created to research and study on this particular disease. It is always advisable to consult your General Physician if you develop flu like symptoms, as antibiotics can help you to avoid harmful effects of this disease when diagnosed in the early stages of infection.

Informing your doctor that you are a rower and have recently involved in training should help them conduct necessary testes and rule out the unwanted ones.

How a Rower can avoid Weil’s disease?
As rowing is practiced in fresh water and in the seas, it is extremely rare for a rower to get affected with Weil’s disease. But, by following some precautions, you can eliminate even the slightest chances of acquiring the infection.

· Always have a shower before and after your rowing session
· If you have any injuries, cuts or scratches in your body, make sure you cover it with waterproof plasters before getting into the boat
· If you happen to get injured during a rowing session, clean the cuts and scratches thoroughly using an anti-bacterial solution as soon as you get out of the waters
· Always wear your training shoes or boots to avoid your feet from getting cut while rowing

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