is a disease
spread by the bite of certain species of sand fly. Synonyms for leishmaniasis include kala azar
, Black Fever
and Dum-Dum fever
. The disease is named for William Boog Leishman
The symptoms of leishmaniasis are skin sores which erupt weeks to months after the person affected is bitten by sand flies. Other consequences, which can become manifest anywhere from a few months to years after infection, include fever, damage to the spleen and liver, and anaemia.
It can be transmitted in many tropical and sub-tropical countries, although the preponderance of cases occur in Bangladesh, Brazil, India and Sudan.
There are four main forms of leishmaniasis.
- Visceral leishmaniasis - the most serious form and potentially fatal if untreated.
- Cutaneous leishmaniasis - the most common form which causes numerous sores on the body, which heal within a few months leaving unpleasant looking scars.
- Diffuse cutaneous leishmaniasis - this form produces widespread skin lesions which resemble leprosy and is particularly difficult to treat.
- Mucocutaneous leishmaniasis - commences with skin ulcers which spread causing tissue damage to (particularly) nose and mouth