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Risk of Infectious Diseases / Bacterial Infections

Killruddery Estate, which is the home of HELL & BACK, is a vast working farm, home to a wide variety of plants and animals, both domestic and wild. As the course involves running through ponds, rivers, forests and swamps, Alive Outside encourages all participants - and parents of Junior/Family/Teen participants - to know and be aware of the symptoms of:

  • Weils/Leptospirosis Disease, which is an acute infectious disease that is spread by infected wild and domestic animals; and

  • other Bacterial Infections associated with working farms.

If you (or your child) develop any symptoms after the event, you should see a medical professional immediately.


The disease / infection usually enters the body through broken, grazed or cut skin especially on the hands and feet and sometimes through the lining of the mouth, nose and eyes. It can also be picked up while wading or swimming in infected water.

It is very important therefore that you wash thoroughly after taking part, especially your hands before you handle and eat food.


Symptoms may include fever, headaches, chills, severe muscle pain in the calves and thighs, vomiting, diarrhoea and bloodshot eyes. Sometimes the fever may fluctuate and other symptoms such as a rash, jaundice, confusion, depression, kidney failure, liver failure and meningitis may occur.

The incubation period is usually 10 days but can range from 4 to 19 days. If symptoms persist, contact your G.P immediately.


  • If you have any open cuts or wounds, get them treated by Order of Malta ASAP.

  • Use all sanitation stations on the course.

  • Wash your hands thoroughly before eating/drinking.

  • If hot showers are available onsite, use them when you finish.

  • Wash yourself – and your clothes - thoroughly when you get home.


For more information about Mud Runs and Infectious Disease Risks, check out this HSE leaflet.

For more information about eColi and the risks to vulnerable groups (including children), check out this Food Safety Authority of Ireland leaflet.

For more information about Leptospirosis (Weil's) Disease from the HPSC, click here.

For more information about safely treating Cuts & Wounds, check out this excellent Order of Malta leaflet.


For more information about Alive Outside's Personal Accident Cover policy when taking part in HELL & BACK weekend events, click here.


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