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Forget Coronavirus, this Tiny Insect is Secretly Claiming Lives of Kenyans

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As Kenyans concentrate on Coronavirus outbreak, another killer disease which penetrated into the country in the previous years secretly continue claiming lives.

Visceral leishmaniasis, popularly known as Kala- Azar, has claimed four lives in Makueni County which is in the Eastern part of Kenya in the past one week.

13 more people are reported to be currently hospitalized.

Of the 13 patients admitted at the Garissa Referral Hospital, 11 are children all below the age of 10.

Kenya had recorded a total of 98 confirmed and suspected cases since the beginning of this year, excluding the new cases.

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The cases were reported from Garissa, Kitui, Mandera, Marsabit and Wajir counties.

Last year, at least 2,822 leishmaniasis cases were recorded in the country with a total of 34 deaths.

Here is a few tips about leishmaniasis disease that you should know.

Although the disease is curable, it still causes high morbidity and sometimes death due to its low index of suspicion by health care providers.

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What is leishmaniasis?

According to the World Health Organization, leishmaniasis is a group of diseases caused by protozoan parasites from more than 20 Leishmania species.

There are three main forms of the disease namely: Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL), Mucocutaneous leishmaniasis (MCL) and Visceral leishmaniasis (VL), also known as kala-azar.

Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is the most common form, MCL is the most disabling form of the disease while VL is the most severe form.

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How is the disease transmitted?

These parasites are transmitted to humans through a bite from a tiny 2–3 mm long (size of a mosquito) infected female insect called sand-fly of genus phlebotomine.

When the infected female sand-fly takes a blood meal on the human skin, it injects the parasite into the wound.

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Macrophages pick up the parasite and here they multiply until the cell bursts from overcrowding. The parasite goes on to infect more macrophages.

Some of these cells get carried to organs of the body including the liver, spleen and the bone marrow.

The disease can appear on a spectrum from a single skin ulcer to destructive lesions of the face to terminal organ disease.

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Note that sand-flies are very small and make no noise when flying. There bites can sometimes be painless; that’s why majority of people usually have no idea when bitten.

It only takes a bite from an infected sand-fly to transmit the disease.

However, majority of people who become infected with the parasite do not develop any symptoms during their lifetime.

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Is the disease popular across the world?

Leishmaniasis is only found in 88 countries worldwide.

They include Asia, East and North Africa, Southern Europe, Middle East, Northern Mexico to Northern Argentina, South America except in Chile and Uruguay.

Rare cases have so far been reported in parts of Oklahoma and Texas.

Source: opera.com
The views expressed in this article are the writer's, they do not reflect the views of Opera News. Read more>>
Top Comments
WinnieKitavi · 06/25/2020
this is more dangerous than corona itself
MarthaWaithaka · 06/25/2020
God have mercy on your people
PatrickItute · 06/27/2020
humility it's needed here.Only repentance will save world.
sifiranjoroge · 06/25/2020
Ngai Aki dunia isimame mimi nishuke

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