NewsDesk @bactiman63

Last week, the Minister of Health, Luis Francisco Sucre reported that there has been an increase in cases of Leishmaniasis in the country, according to a El Siglo report.

Phlebotomus papatasi sand fly/James Gathany

He detailed that to date more than 240 have been reported, a higher number compared to previous years. This skyrocketing of cases has triggered health alerts by authorities.

In addition, Sucre said that the Metropolitan Health Region is the one that has registered the most cases to date with 31 people affected.

He reported that leishmaniasis is transmitted by a vector and occurs in some areas where they are in greater contact with nature; for example, the regional areas in Nägbe Buglé, Cerro Azul, La 24 de Diciembre and even in Guna Yala.

Medical books

The head of the Minsa assured that at the moment a strategy is being made to reinforce the team to make more diagnoses and be able to attend to these people.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says Leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease that is found in parts of the tropics, subtropics, and southern Europe. Leishmaniasis is caused by infection with Leishmania parasites, which are spread by the bite of infected sand flies. There are several different forms of leishmaniasis in people. The most common forms are cutaneous leishmaniasis, which causes skin sores, and visceral leishmaniasis, which affects several internal organs (usually spleen, liver, and bone marrow).

People with cutaneous leishmaniasis who develop clinical evidence of infection have one or more sores on their skin. The sores can change in size and appearance over time. The sores may start out as papules (bumps) or nodules (lumps) and may end up as ulcers (like a volcano, with a raised edge and central crater); skin ulcers may be covered by scab or crust. The sores usually are painless but can be painful.

There is not a  vaccine available to prevent leishmaniasis. The best way is to avoid sandfly bites.