NewsDesk @bactiman63

In a follow-up to a report in late Januaryhealth officials with the Bolivian government and the Municipal Government of Villa Montes are raising alarms over recent cases of leishmaniasis in the city.

Phlebotomus papatasi sand fly/James Gathany

According to officials, seven confirmed cases of leishmaniasis have been reported. Departmental and national health authorities are looking at the municipality of Villa Montes, and prepare an action plan to stop and control this disease.

Marcelo Magne, the head of Epidemiological Surveillance of the Departmental Health Service confirmed the presence of visceral leishmaniasis, being the first case that occurs in the department of Tarija. He said the case was a child.

Agustín Quispe, head of the Health Unit of the Regional Government of Villa Montes said “in Villa Montes, we have had cutaneous leishmaniasis, but it is the 1st occurrence of visceral leishmaniasis and consequently, not even the Ministry of Health had contemplated the treatment, and the care flowchart.”

Leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease spread by the bite of an infected sandfly. The most common types of leishmaniasis are cutaneous and visceral. The cutaneous type causes skin sores, the visceral type affects internal organs such as the spleen, liver, and bone marrow.