Tel Aviv: A FLESH-EATING tropical disease known as cutaneous leishmaniasis is sweeping the Middle East and and North Africa.
On Thursday, research published in the journal PLOS reports has found hundreds of thousands of people living in refugee camps or trapped in conflict zones now affected by a disfiguring disease.
Cutaneous leishmaniasis or “CL” for short is (skin-affecting) form of a parasitic disease which is transmitted through sandflies, which are common in the Middle East.
Leishmaniasis is not new and has actually been endemic to Syria for centuries was once commonly known as “Aleppo evil”.
The ongoing violence in Syria has created a setting for the re-emergence of measles and polio, as well as tuberculosis, hepatitis A, and other infections in Syria and among displaced Syrian refugees.
“Prior to the outbreak of war there was good control of diseases, parasites and sandflies but when the conflict started no one cared, conditions worsened and the health system broke down, which has created an ideal environment for disease outbreaks,” author Waleed Al-Salem told The Independent.
According to the PLOS research, Ministry of Health reported that incidence of CL in Syria jumped from 23,000 cases per year before the civil war to 41,000 case in 2013.
Now ,the disease has begun to flourish in Syria’s neighbouring countries Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan which have received millions of refugees.