A 22-year-old Araçatuba man became the eighth case of visceral leishmaniasis in the Brazilian city of 200,000 people, according to a Globo.com report today (computer translated). In 2013, health officials recorded only three cases.

Phlebotomus papatasi sand fly–a vector of leishmaniasis Image/CDC
Phlebotomus papatasi sand fly–a vector of leishmaniasis

According to city officials,there have been no deaths from the disease this year.

According to the World Health Organization, over 90% of visceral leishmaniasis cases occur in six countries: Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, India, South Sudan and Sudan.

Leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease found in parts of the tropics, subtropics, and southern Europe. Leishmaniasis has several different forms.

Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is the most serious manifestation, which affects some of the internal organs of the body (such as the spleen, liver, and bone marrow).

VL is predominantly transmitted through the bite of an infected female phlebotomine sand fly, although congenital and parenteral transmission (through blood transfusions and needle sharing) have been reported.

Araçatuba is a city located in the northwest of São Paulo state, Brazil. The city has 190,536 inhabitants.  Araçatuba is located 532 km from the city of São Paulo.