Date: Mon 7 Jan 2019
Source: Outbreak News Today [edited]
Health officials in Bani Walid municipality [Misratah district] in northwest Libya are reporting an outbreak of the disfiguring parasitic disease, leishmaniasis, according to a local media report.
[So far,] 290 cases have been reported although it is not clear when this upsurge of cases began.
The report notes that Director of the Office Ayman al-Hawadi said that the disease has become a nightmare for residents in Bani Walid, especially in the absence of medical treatment, calling on the competent authorities to save the city from a health disaster that could emanate from the spreading of the disease.
In a Libya Observer report today [6 Jan 2019], Chairman of the Commission for the Management of Medical Supply Service, Tahir Bakhir, said that medication for leishmaniasis disease will be available by next week [week of 14 Jan 2019]; however, he noted that no more than 5000 doses will be available.
In December , Bakhir warned that leishmaniasis will increase during the months of January and February , to reach thousands of cases.
Leishmaniasis is caused by the protozoan leishmania parasites, which are transmitted by the bite of infected female phlebotomine sandflies -- flies that are 3 times smaller than a mosquito. According to the World Health Organization, there are an estimated 700,000 to 1 million new cases annually, and they cause 20,000-30,000 deaths each year.
[Borrowing from our comments on the situation of cutaneous leishmaniasis in Libya in ProMED-mail posting http://promedmail.org/post/20180413.5742538:
"A recent study mapping of cutaneous leishmaniasis in Libya concluded: "Future projection of CL until 2060 showed a trend of increasing incidence of CL in the north-western part of Libya, a spread along the coastal region and a possible emergence of new endemics in the north-eastern districts of Libya. These results should be considered for control programs to prevent the emergence of new endemic areas taking also into consideration changes in socio-economical factors such as migration, conflicts, urbanization, land use and access to health care" (Amro A, Al-Dwibe H, Gashout A et al. Spatiotemporal and molecular epidemiology of cutaneous leishmaniasis in Libya. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2017;11(9):e0005873; available at <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5605087/
>). - ProMED Mod.EP]