Disease spread by sand fleas arriving in the West with Syrian refugees

We have been following Breitbart and Michael Patrick Leahy’s investigative series on TB in the refugee flow to America, but what about cutaneous leishmaniasis? Is is here yet?
We reported on this awful disease here nearly three years ago.  One more of those joys of diversity!

sand flea disease
A lesion (cutaneous leishmaniasis) on a US soldier. One more reason to take care of America first. Photo: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/220298-clinical

From Al Arabiya:

A disfiguring tropical disease that had been previously been contained in Syria is now reportedly spreading across the Middle East as millions are displaced, the Daily Mail reported on Saturday.

Cutaneous leishmaniasis, which can lead to severe scarring on the face, is a parasitic disease spread by bites from infected sand flies.

The disease regularly goes undiagnosed and untreated.

The disease had been contained in Syria, particularly to regions under ISIS control such as Raqqa, Deir al-Zour and Hasakah.

The ongoing Syrian civil war has devastated the country’s medical facilities and along with the chronic lack of clean water, the situation has created a breeding ground for sand flies the carry the disease.


“It’s a very bad situation. The disease has spread dramatically in Syria, but also into countries like Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey and even into southern Europe with refugees coming in,” Dr. Waleed Al-Salem, one of researchers on the disease, told the Daily Mail.

Visit our health issues category where you can find 298 other posts like this one, including the Breitbart series on Tuberculosis in the US refugee population.

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