Leptospirosis (Weil's Disease) And Why You Should NEVER Drink From Cans

I am always annoying my family by insisting they don't drink from cans or bottles. Unless I "nag" them when we are out they will happily just purchase one from a shop somewhere and raise it to their mouths.

Maybe they feel drinking from a straw or glass isn't macho or cool. At home they have no such qualms and always use glasses, usually so many I complain about the washing up.

There is a very good reason for my insistence however and relates to an incident which happened several years ago when I lived in Brunei.

One Friday afternoon a fit young family man who played football for a local team bought a can of drink from a restaurant situated close to the river. He drank directly from the can and died soon after. It was said he died of Weil’s (pronounced Viles) disease. It caused quit a stir at the time and I've never forgotten it.

I was reminded of the incident today when I opened my e-mail and read this:-

"A woman went boating one Sunday taking with her some cans of coke which she put into the refrigerator of the boat.

On Monday she was taken to the hospital and placed in the Intensive Care Unit.

She died on Wednesday.

The autopsy concluded she died of leptospirosis. This was traced to the can of coke she drank from as she hadn't used a glass.

Tests showed the can was infected by dried rat urine and hence the disease Leptospirosis."

Rat urine contains toxic and deadly substances. They are all around us and it is estimated no-one lives within a few feet of one these days, especially with the amount of food waste and rubbish left lying around.

They live anywhere where there is food and are not fussy about what they class as food. Rats often live in sewers and drains.

Rats can swim and with unusual weather conditions and unprecedented rain fall in many areas, flooding has left several areas not as clean as they should be.

If you must drink from cans or bottles I strongly recommended you thoroughly wash them first – at least the upper parts.

Cans are typically stocked in warehouses and transported straight to shops without being cleaned. Even if they have that plastic wrapping over the trays of cans when they reach the stores you need to consider that someone will stack them on the display shelves.

Do you know what is on their hands? Have they washed them?

A study at NYCU showed that the tops of soda cans are more contaminated than Public toilets i.e., full of germs and bacteria.

My husband often complains of the amount of men who walk straight out of the public toilets without first washing their hands. I'm sure it's the same for many women and that thought usually crosses my mind if I shake hands with anyone.

I have no such worries with my autistic son who is an "expert" hand washer. He has been known to almost hold up planes and stage performances because of it.

However, with so many infections seemingly resistant to treatment these days we need to take as much care of our health as possible.

Antibiotics and antibacterial products are no longer the answer.

What many people do not realise is that these kill ALL bacteria and many are really very useful and necessary.

Instead of using "anti" products you need to use "pro" products and they certainly are available.

I use all natural, general purpose, probiotic cleaning products and certified organic, probiotic health products.

Now instead of having my house full of toxic chemical laced cleaners, I have a powerful army of beneficial bacteria who regenerate, repopulate and dominate over the harmful, disease causing pathogenic bacteria, which are causing such concern both in homes and in our hospitals.

Please take care of your health, and if you must drink from bottles and cans PLEASE wash them with water BEFORE putting them to your mouth.

Leptospirosis or Weil’s disease can be fatal.

Certified Organic Probiotics


Anonymous said...

Dear Jean,
This was a wonderful article saying about the spread of LeptoSpirosis spreading through bottle/can of soda. The people who are crazy about opening the bottle/can and directly plugging into their mouth should be advised about this.

But I differ from your opinion in few parts.

I am having sever fever (102 F)for the past 10days and the lab reports arrived yesterday. I have been diagonised +ve for LeptoSpirosis. My result for Dengue, Malaria and Typhoid were -ve. So I would say that Leptospirosis could be fatal if not treated earlier. But People wont die within 3-4 days as you have mentioned in "A woman went boating one Sunday ...and died on Wednesday"..( which is very very rare)

More LeptoSpirosis can be cured using the drugs like
doxycycline, penicillin, ampicillin, etc. (ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leptospirosis ) It is contradiction to your statement "Antibiotics and antibacterial products are no longer the answer".

Anonymous said...

For those who may be looking, good medical information concerning leptospirosis can be found here.

Nicholas Moreau said...

It's debunked on their official website:

It's also debunked independently:

One of the key things in this urban legend is "NYCU"; there's isn't such a place, only "NYU", New York University.

Anonymous said...


The Leptospirosis Information Center

Official position of the LIC:

While there is a theoretical risk of human infection from residual rat urine on cans or bottles, the statistical risk is extremely small. Leptospira require constant immersion in water to survive, and so drying of the surface for any length of time will permanently kill the bacteria. Given that drinking containers are non-porous, surface moisture dries very quickly and cannot possibly contaminate the contents.

Drinking from a can or bottle that has been exposed to rat urine presents a risk in theory only. There are no reported cases in the literature of human infection being unequivocally traced to cans or bottles and no medical studies have been performed into leptospira on drinks containers, or into the relative bacterial levels of drinks containers and public toilets.

kitty said...

Well, I had it too..I was in india and contracted after a cyclone hit the area and many people got sick..the biggest problem was that they found it, than didn't find it for months again and than once more found it...I didn't receive the medication, although almost all bodily functions had fallen out.i was in extreme pain and didn't feel leggs, or heat etc....I had a near death experience adn even now after one year I am suffering from heartproblems and one paralysed vocal cord most likely because of this illness..It was incredible..noone believed me in the hospitals even when i had all symptoms of meningitis , they didn't do ap unction and kept testing other things..irrelevant things.People , this disease is a nightmair if not treated at once....please take care...

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