This disease is carried by a parasite transmitted by the bite of a sandfly.
There are 3 forms of the disease. Kala Azar is the most severe and can be fatal. It affects 12 million people in India, Bangladesh, the Sudan, Brazil, Bolivia, and Peru.
Symptoms produce skin ulcers, fever, weight loss, and swelling of the liver and spleen.
All forms of this disease can be treated when drugs are given at the early stages. The current cost is about $300. for one patient.
Prevention can be best helped by wearing long pants, long sleeves, insect repellent and sleeping under bed nets.
Kids for World Health will be starting up programs in Brazil in the near future.
The disease is carried by a parasite transmitted by the bite of a sandfly. The disease occurs in three forms, one of which is Visceral Leishmaniasis (also called Kala-Azar) that can be fatal. The milder forms lead to scars and disfigurement. The disease affects 12 million people in India, Bangladesh, the Sudan, Brazil, Bolivia, and Peru.
Symptoms: The milder forms of the disease produce skin ulcers or sores that can lead to destruction of the mucous membranes of the nose, mouth, and throat. Visceral Leishmaniasis (Kala-Azar) is characterized by fever, weight loss , swelling of the liver and spleen and is usually fatal if untreated.
Diagnosis and Treatment: All forms of Leishmaniasis can be treated when drugs are given in the early stages. The current cost is about $300 for one patient. Prevention is effective through use of simple procedures, but even these are often not possible in poor, rural areas. A new, affordable cure for Visceral Leishmaniasis has been recently developed by One World Health and a delivery method for the treatment is being organized.
Prevention: The best way to prevent Leishmaniasis is for people to take steps to minimize their risk of being bitten by the sandfly. This would include wearing long pants and long sleeve shirts, using insect repellent and sleeping under a bed net. However, because the disease is most common in hot climates, these measures tend to be uncomfortable.
Information compiled from publications and personnel of the World Health Organization and Doctors Without Borders. Specific sources available upon request.