Leishmaniasis Essay

2076 Words Dec 10th, 2012 9 Pages
Leishmaniasis

"The Sting of The Sand Fly"

By Jared Yeazell

Admittedly, since the beginning of time, disease has played a drastic role in the history of society. It has affected economic conditions, wars, and natural disasters. The impact of any disease can be far greater than some far better known catastrophes. In 1918, an epidemic of influenza swept the globe, killing between 20 million and 40 million people. Within a few months, more than 500,000 Americans had died. This is a number far greater than the number of people killed during World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War
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Physicians in the Indian subcontinent would describe it as Kala-Azar. More recently, evidence of the cutaneous form of the disease was found in the Ecuador and Peru in the pre-Inca potteries depicting king lesions and deformed faces dating back to the first century AD. Additionally, 15th and 16th century texts from the Inca period and from the Spanish colonial mention "Valley Sickness," "Andean Sickness," or "White Leprosy" which are likely to be Cutaneous Leishmaniasis.

Following this a little further, Leishmaniasis is usually transmitted in many tropical and subtropical countries, and is found in certain parts of about 88 countries. Currently, approximately 350 million people are living in these areas. It affects as many as 12 million people worldwide, with around 2 million new cases each year. Leishmaniasis is also found through much of the Americas from northern Argentina to southern Texas, though not in Uruguay or Chile, and has recently been shown to be spreading to north Texas. During 2004, it is estimated that around 3,400 Colombian troops, operating in the jungles near the south of the country, were infected with Leishmaniasis. Within Afghanistan, Leishmaniasis occurs commonly due to bad sanitations and waste left uncollected in the streets. Additionally, Leishmaniasis has been reported by U.S. troops stationed in Saudi Arabia and Iraq since the Gulf War of 1990. Also, in some areas of southern Europe, Leishmaniasis is becoming an
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