LEISHMANIASIS

Description

It is a parasitic disease caused by the Leishmania parasite

Symptoms

  • In Cutaneous Leishmaniasis form:
  • Painless skin ulcers
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Nose bleeds
  • Difficulty breathing
  • In Visceral Leishmaniasis forrm:
  • Weight loss
  • Weakness
  • Cough
  • Fever that lasts for weeks or months
  • Enlarged spleen
  • Enlarged liver
  • Decreased production of RBCs
  • Bleeding
  • Night sweats
  • Thinning hair
  • Scaly skin
  • Dark, ashen skin

Causes

  • protozoan parasite ( Leishmania species)
  • Being bitten by infected sand fly

Risk Factors

  • Geography (found everywhere except Australia and Antartica
  • Poverty
  • Malnutrition
  • Famine
  • Illiteracy
  • Large migrations
  • Weak immune system

Diagnostic Tests

  • Physical examination
  • Blood tests
  • Bone marrow biopsy

Treatment

  • Antiparasitic drug (amphotericin B)
  • Medicine for Visceral Leishmaniasis:
  • Meglumine antimoniate
  • Sodium stibogluconate
  • Medicine for mucocutaneous leishmaniasis
  • Liposomal amphotericin B
  • Paromomycin

Prevention

  • Avoid getting bitten by sand fly
  • Wear clothes that covers as much skin as possible
  • Use insect repellent
  • Spray indoor sleeping areas with insecticide
  • Sleep on the higher floors of building
  • Avoid the outdoors between dusk and dawn
  • When indoors, use screens and air conditioning
  • Use a bed net