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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2006 Jan;74(1):127-31.

An outbreak of leptospirosis among Israeli troops near the Jordan River.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine C, Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel; Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.


An outbreak of leptospirosis that involved 7 of a team of 27 Israeli troops occurred following a military exercise in northern Israel near the Jordan River. The organism implicated in the outbreak was Leptospira interrogans serovar Hardjo. The clinical course was uncomplicated and all patients fully recovered. There were no cases of asymptomatic infection. Military personnel should be recognized as having an occupational risk for contracting leptospirosis, especially when military activity takes place near natural water sources inhabited by cattle, taking into account the local epidemiology of this disease. Moreover, outbreaks among military personnel may serve as a sentinel for leptospiral illness in areas in which civilian exposure takes place, such as the Jordan River, which is an important site that involves immersion in the context of both pilgrimage and civilian recreational activities."Bathe and you will become clean. So he went down and immersed himself seven times in the Jordan, as Elisha had told him to do. And his flesh became clean once more like the flesh of a small child."II Kings 5:14.

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