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Argentina: 2023 Leishmaniasis

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  • Argentina: 2023 Leishmaniasis


    A case of visceral leishmaniasis in a child triggered alarms in Posadas
    The positive notification was given in Itaembé Guazú after the child under the age of four went to the Pediatric hospital with symptoms. Tips to avoid the proliferation of the vector.
    August 23, 2023

    The case of visceral leishmaniasis detected yesterday in a four-year-old boy set off all the alarms in the populous Itaembé Guazú neighborhood, in the south of Posadas. It is that the notification forced the authorities to block the area where the case was detected.

    According to information that FIRST EDITION was able to collect, the case was confirmed at the Pediatric Hospital where the minor attended after presenting symptoms.

    The Municipality of Posadas, through the IMUSA, and the Undersecretary of Health, through the Directorate of Environmental Sanitation, immediately went to the place and carried out the blockade of a round block, where the trapping operation began, which, per protocol, it lasts 48 hours.

    Regarding the infected minor, it was learned that "today he is still admitted to the Pediatric Hospital," said Dr. Fabián Zelaya, director of environmental sanitation of the Ministry of Health. The child is under treatment, although he did not disclose his state of health.

    Likewise, Zelaya explained to FM 89.3 that they became aware of the case yesterday and, from there, "the alarms and logistics were turned on to act immediately in the blockade."

    In turn, he explained that it is common for cases of leishmaniasis to appear in Misiones, as it is an endemic area (it is found naturally, it cannot be eradicated). However, he differentiated that “we have areas where cases of both cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis usually appear, especially cutaneous; the visceral is not so frequent in Misiones ”, he clarified. Hence the case alert.

    Likewise, this is not the first of this year. In January, an 11-year-old missionary minor was admitted to the Garrahan hospital for contracting visceral leishmaniasis.

    Next, to explain how these cases are reached, Zelaya commented that "this sandfly usually follows its biological cycle, totally different from Aedes aegypti (dengue transmitter): it does not need water, on the contrary, it seeks humid, cool, dark places, where there is organic material (leaf litter, decomposed fruits that fall from the trees). It is the favorite site of the sandfly to develop its life cycle of the transmitting vector (Lutzomyia longipalpis) of leishmaniasis”, he synthesized.

    At the same time, in addition to the vector, it needs the dog or the man. "Between the dog and the man, he generally prefers the dog," which consequently acts as a "sanitary barrier," as a warning before reaching the man, said Dr. Zelaya.

    Responsible ownership and care

    It is worth remembering that, according to a study carried out in March, in Misiones there is a 20% positivity rate for leishmaniasis in pets. Hence also lies the importance of responsible ownership.

    “This vector puts our pet at risk and responsible ownership is fundamental: the fact that they are not tied up all day, that we take care to shake their cloth, their blanket, clean their house, so that it does not accumulate or not there is vector activity. Take into account the pipette, the collar to scare away the vector, because although the dog is our sanitary barrier, it is not always like that, "said Zelaya.

    “Generally people are alerted to the presence of the case. People are usually careful, they try to clean their patio, they take care of themselves, but it is more related to Aedes, this is something else, ”he said.

    For this reason, he asked that, for example, "when pruning, try to ensure that the leaves do not accumulate and dry out, that they do not remain moist and end up being litter in our yard." Also, having fruit trees, he recommended "not waiting for the fruit to decompose on the ground"; and when cutting the grass, "clean and collect so that it is not organic material for that vector."

    With a suspected or positive case, the agencies in charge of prevention and blocking act immediately. Dr. Fabián Zelaya explained the procedure that is carried out throughout the province.

    "The blockade consists of applying 'light traps', which are CDC traps that are located at different points, both in the house of the suspected case and in the surrounding house, it is not like the dengue blockade, for example, and it is because it is not a mosquito like the Aedes, it does not become a mosquito, it is a sandfly that has a short flight”, he summarized.

    Generally, with light traps, "places are sought where this sandfly usually does its life cycle." As mentioned, this insect looks for damp, cool and dark places.

    And what is done, in the presence of a notification, "we articulate with the local Municipality and the Undersecretary of Health, traps are carried out for 48 hours, the traps are generally placed in the afternoon (because the vector activity is late-night) and seeks to place in places​

  • #2

    Case of leishmaniasis detected in Itaembé Guazú
    Since yesterday they started with animal health operations that will continue today in the populous neighborhood of the West of Posadeño
    Wednesday August 23, 2023 | 6:05 a.m.

    A case of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) was confirmed in the last few hours in the populous neighborhood of Itaembé Guazú in the capital of Misiones. According to information collected by El Territorio, it is a child who began with the symptoms and after rigorous studies the diagnosis was confirmed at the Posadas Pediatric Hospital, where he is hospitalized for the corresponding treatment.

    Meanwhile, the municipality began yesterday and will continue today with tasks of sanitation, awareness, fumigation, placement of traps and detection of animals with the disease, taking into account that the dog is the main reservoir of the parasite in urban environments.

    "The Imusa is going to carry out an operation tomorrow (for today) in the morning in our sector, they will bring pipettes, anti-rabies vaccination and leishmaniasis tests," they said from the neighborhood commission and anticipated that the tasks will be concentrated in the areas of Las Tunas street and Jilgueros avenue.

    VL has a usual presentation of fever of more than ten days, splenomegaly (enlarged spleen) and low platelets.

    “As a suspected diagnosis, when we have a patient with a prolonged febrile picture, that is, more than two weeks of evolution and sometimes even days without fever, that is enough to think of visceral leishmaniasis. But we are used to receiving chronic visceral leishmaniasis in the province, 90% of the cases had prolonged fever, malnutrition, diarrhea, edema due to lack of albumin. In other words, we are used to seeing Kala-azar, the prolonged fever due to visceral leishmaniasis”, the pediatric infectologist Liliana Arce had explained in a recent note.

    This is not the first diagnosis of the year. At the beginning of 2023, this medium reported on a pediatric patient from Garupá who had liver failure and had to be transferred to the Garrahan Hospital in Buenos Aires due to the seriousness of the case.


    In Misiones the disease is endemic, that is, it cannot be eradicated and in urban environments the dog is the main affected and reservoir of the pathology. That is why the importance of responsible pet ownership and keeping yards clean, where Lutzomyia longipalpis, the vector of the parasite, lives and breeds, comes into play.

    As for the signs and symptoms in humans, they can vary from asymptomatic patients to others presenting prolonged febrile syndrome, enlarged liver and spleen, anemia, weight loss, and bleeding.

    Lutzomyia lives and breeds in decaying tree leaves, shady wetlands and garbage dumps, chicken fecal matter, and fallen and decaying fruit on the ground.

    The atypical high temperatures for the time of year mean that the proliferation of insects does not drop, and in particular those vectors that represent a risk to public health. This has its correspondence and impact in zoonotic diseases such as leishmaniasis.

    It is an infectious disease transmitted by the bite of the sandfly -or carachai, as it is popularly known- and is caused by a parasite called leishmania protozoan.

    Alejandra Coria, director of the Municipal Institute of Animal Health in the city of Posadas, said days ago: “Statistics are used to keep a kind of control and with regard to leishmaniasis, out of every ten dogs two are positive; We have that statistic. Now the care in the Villa Cabello area has increased a bit when the new base is opened, so we have a greater number of patients. And as for the areas with the most cases of the disease, we are somewhat limited in the sense that if one looks at a map of Posadas, the areas closest to the bases are the ones with the highest positivity rate, but it is because of the proximity ”, he clarified.

    “We know that we have a percentage of positivity for leishmaniasis in Posadas, since we have been working on this issue for many years. Every year the statistics are made in relation to the patients we receive in the bases, so it is a bit biased in terms of being able to have a really reliable percentage ”, Coria concluded.

    In figures

    According to the statistical data of the Municipal Institute of Animal Health (Imusa), two out of every ten dogs that attend have a diagnosis of leishmaniasis.​