Leishmaniasis – Kenya
February 16, 2022 – Leishmaniasis continues to pose as an infectious disease concern in Mwingi North subcounty, Kenya. Within a four-year-period, 60 deaths have been reported. Leishmaniasis is a parasitic infection transmitted from the bites of sand flies found near camel grazing sites. Symptoms include swelling of the liver or spleen, fever, and weight loss. Lack of adequate medicine and resources, high cost, and vulnerability to unfavorable environments have resulted in some of these fatalities.
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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