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Leishmaniasis

Leishmaniasis is a tropical/sub-tropical disease caused by Leishmania protozoa, which is spread by the bite of infected sandflies.

There are several different forms of leishmaniasis in people. Cutaneous leishmaniasis causes skin sores which are often self-healing within a few months, but which may leave ugly scars; it occurs worldwide, including the Mediterranean coast. Visceral leishmaniasis causes systemic disease, presenting with fever, malaise, weight loss and anaemia, swelling of the spleen, liver and lymph nodes; most of the cases reported worldwide occur in Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Nepal and Sudan.

No vaccines or drugs to prevent infection are available. The best way for travellers to prevent infection is to protect themselves from sandfly bites.

 

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