Description of Kala-azar
Kala-azar (Leishmaniasis) is a parasitic disease spread by the bite of infected sand flies. There are several different forms of leishmaniasis. The most common are cutaneous and visceral.
Forms of leishmaniasis:
1. The cutaneous type causes skin sores.
2. The visceral type affects internal organs such as the spleen, liver, and bone marrow. People with this form usually have fever, weight loss, and an enlarged spleen and liver.
Signs and Symptoms
Common symptoms include:
1. Stuffy or runny nose
2. Nose bleeds
3. Difficulty breathing
4. Weight loss
7. Fever that lasts for weeks or months
8. Enlarged spleen
9. Enlarged liver
10. Decreased production of red blood cells (RBCs)
Leishmaniasis is found in parts of about 88 countries. Most of these countries are in the tropics and subtropics.
1. Medicines that contain antimony, a type of metal
2. Strong antibiotics
The best way to prevent the disease is to protect yourself from sand fly bites:
1. Stay indoors from dusk to dawn, when sand flies are the most active
2. Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts when outside
3. Use insect repellent and bed nets as needed
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Frequently Asked Questions about Kala-azar
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