Leishmaniasis – Venezuela
Venezuela is reporting an unspecified number of cases in the rural state of Lara. Cases have been confirmed in Duaca, Sanare, and Macuto where the disease has been localized for many years. But cases are also spreading to the town of La Ruezga in Barquisimeto.
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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