§ Mrs. Currie
[holding answer 18 January 1988]: I have been asked to reply.
The organism which causes Weil's disease (leptospirosis) is carried in the kidneys of wild rodents and can, therefore, be passed by those animals into rivers and inland waters.
As the organism can enter the human body when cuts and abrasions or the membrane of nose, mouth or eye come into contact with contaminated water, members of inland sailing and canoeing clubs are issued with warning leaflets. Early diagnosis and treatment of Weil's disease are important, but it responds readily to antibiotics.