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Mexico: Leishmaniasis outbreak grows in the Yucatan Peninsula

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  • Mexico: Leishmaniasis outbreak grows in the Yucatan Peninsula


    Leishmaniasis outbreak grows in the Yucatan Peninsula
    "Chiclero ulcers" are spread through a mosquito bite.
    by CameraJ.
    June 29, 2023 9:15 p.m.

    Cutaneous leishmaniasis is a disease that in Mexico, in particular, only registers cases in the Yucatan peninsula and the Gulf area.

    This infectious disease that affects the skin is caused by protozoa of the genus Leishmania and transmitted to animals and humans by vectors.

    The disease is spread by the bite of the sandfly or kite mosquito of the Psychodidae family, the sole and exclusive transmitter of this protozoan.

    According to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the incubation period in humans is two to three months on average, before they begin to present one or more skin lesions, with ulcers that can change color. size and appearance over time.

    The lesions, popularly known as chiclero ulcers, begin as a papule that evolves into a rounded, painless nodule that progressively increases in size.

    Initially the ulcers are covered by a scab and when detached, the typical ulcer is observed with a clean bottom, pink color and granular tissue, rounded, with regular and raised edges, painless and with an indurated base.

    This very frequent disease in the Yucatan peninsula has registered an unusual increase during 2023, compared to the last four years, according to data from the federal Ministry of Health.

    increase in cases

    Up to Week 24 of the National Epidemiological Bulletin, Cutaneous Leishmaniasis has been diagnosed in 841 patients throughout Mexico, of which 726 are men and 115 women.

    Of this global number, 769 belong to the three states of the Yucatan Peninsula, that is, 91.4 percent of the national total of cases.

    Outside this region, Tabasco reports 61 patients diagnosed with this disease, Mexico City and Veracruz report six, respectively, the State of Mexico four, while Colima, Querétaro, Jalisco, Nayarit and Tlaxcala have diagnosed one in each state.

    As for the Yucatan peninsula, Quintana Roo is the entity that has reported the most cases of the so-called "chiclero's ulcer", with 622 patients, equivalent to 73.9 percent of the national figure. They are followed by Campeche with 77 and Yucatán with 70.

    These figures are higher than what the same document reported in past years during the same weekly period.

    For example, in 2022 Quintana Roo reported a total of 322 cases by the end of week 24, while Campeche accumulated 59 and Yucatán 37. A year earlier there were no reports at the national level.

    In 2020, Campeche led the way with 24 patients diagnosed with Cutaneous Leishmaniasis, followed by Quintana Roo with 21. Yucatán did not report any cases that year either.

    It was in 2019 when the highest records of the last four years were had. However, the accumulated figure of 698 is still lower than what was reported in 2023.

    For that year, Quintana Roo reported 425 patients with this disease up to epidemiological week 24, followed by Tabasco with 130, Campeche with 72, Chiapas with 31, Veracruz with 16, Oaxaca with 13, Yucatán with six, Nayarit with two, and Baja California. , Jalisco and Sinaloa, with 1, respectively...​