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Weil's Disease

Volume 175: debated on Tuesday 3 July 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what forms of protection are available in the United Kingdom against Weil's disease; and if he will make a statement.

Although leptospirosis is a rare occupational disease, recently there has been increased public concern about the possible risk associated with water sports such as canoeing.Advice on protection is aimed primarily at prevention. Clubs, local authorities and water companies provide water sports enthusiasts with a leaflet giving advice on how to reduce the risk of infection by taking simple precautions. Open wounds should be covered with waterproof dressing and injuries sustained during the activity should be washed thoroughly and a waterproof dressing applied. If symptoms develop, no matter how minor, medical opinion should be sought.A vaccine is available in Japan, but it is not generally effective against the strains of the disease found in this country.