Leishmaniasis (Kala Azar)
Travel Health

From: Travel Health Information and Advice

Leishmaniasis is a serious disease that is caused by the protozoan parasite that is known as Leishmania, which if left untreated can prove fatal.

Symptoms Leishmaniasis
There are two main forms of the disease that are known as Cutaneous Leishmaniasis and Visceral Leishmaniasis (Kala Azar)

How Leishmaniasisis is Spread
The female phlebotomine sand fly requires blood to allow her eggs to develop, when she feeds on an infected animal or human she becomes infected with the parasite Leishmania. The parasite then develops for a few weeks inside the sand fly before being introduced into the bite site of another animal or human when she next seeks fresh blood.

Affected Areas
Tropical and sub tropical areas are mainly affected by the parasite such as Africa, Central Asia, Brazil, India, Central and South America and Southern Europe.

Test For Leishmaniasis
Testing the blood and tissues of the open sores will determine the species of Leishmania protozoa and appropriate treatment required.

How To Help Prevent Leishmaniasis
Because the sand flies are so small they can often pass through fly nets so it is advisable to have bed nets treated with an insecticide. Wear clothing that covers up as much as possible and wear plenty of insect repellent.

Treatment for Leishmaniasis
There are different treatments available depending on the type of protozoa causing the infection. Seek medical attention immediately if you suspect Leishmaniasis as it can be fatal if left untreated.