Leishmaniasis – Bolivia

Until March 11th, 2022, a number of leishmaniasis cases, were confirmed in Villamontes, Bolivia. Although cutaneous leishmaniasis was reported previously in this region, visceral leishmaniasis is new and have put the health authorities on high alert.

Leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease spread by the bite of an infected mosquito.

Seven visceral leishmaniasis cases, including a child and a mother, have been diagnosed with the disease.

The person in charge of the health unit at the Regional Government of Villa Montes has declared, "Health personnel are being trained and surely this Friday the team of professionals will raise the recommendations that we can assume at the regional level. We have presented a contingency plan and surely based on it they will tell us what other tasks we can face."

Photo: Leishmania tropica, one of more than 15 species.

Leishmaniasis is a disease caused by parasites and spread by the bite of a certain sandfly. The cutaneous form presents with skin ulcers. Risk factors include poverty, malnutrition, deforestation, and urbanization. Leishmaniasis can be partly prevented by sleeping under nets treated with insecticide and fumigation.

Leishmaniasis occurs in some 98 countries and affects about 2 million people yearly, and causes between 20 and 50 thousand deaths.

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