Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects humans and animals. The bacteria that cause leptospirosis are spread through the urine of infected animals and can get into water or soil where it can survive for weeks to months. Many different kinds of wild and domestic animals carry the bacterium, including cattle, pigs, horses, dogs, rodents and wild animals. In humans, diagnosis can be difficult as leptospirosis can cause a wide range of symptoms. Some infected persons, however, may have no symptoms at all. Without treatment, leptospirosis can lead to kidney damage, meningitis (inflammation of the membrane around the brain and spinal cord), liver failure, respiratory distress, and even death.