Weils Disease guidance

There is news today, 28th June, that a Cambridge University student has been diagnosed with Weil’s Disease. 

While the risk of contracting the disease from recreational water is very small, British Rowing would like to reiterate its advice that the potentially serious nature of the disease means that rowers must be aware of the dangers and should take simple, routine precautions to reduce the risk of infection.

The most likely place for Weil’s Disease to be found is in stagnant water, water that is adjacent to farm land and any water where rodents are common.

Weil’s Disease, also known as Leptospirosis, is rare in Britain with around 40 – 50 cases reported each year, however the disease does kill one or two people every year. It is carried by water organisms, so those taking part in water sports can be at risk.

In the early stages Leptospirosis can be mistaken for flu but can develop into jaundice, kidney and liver failure.

British Rowing’s guidance about the routine precautions can be found on our website and is also included in Row Safe, a Guide to Good Practice in Rowing.