Leishmaniasis – India
A suspected case of Visceral leishmaniasis has been reported for a 77-year-old men in Kerala, India.
The disease is caused by sandflies that bite and infect a human being. Visceral leishmaniasis is the most severe form of the disease and is, if untreated, lethal in 95% of all cases. Symptoms include irregular bouts of fever, weight loss, enlargement of the spleen and liver, and anemia.
The man is the only reported patient, while the outbreak location is unknown.
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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