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Leishmania now endemic in U.S., CDC says.

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  • Leishmania now endemic in U.S., CDC says.


    Tropical disease now endemic in U.S., CDC says. In deadlier form, it's coming via dogs.
    Eduardo Cuervas
    Upadated 11:36 a.m. ET Oct. 20, 2023

    A tropical disease once seen almost exclusively among Americans returning from travel abroad now has a unique U.S. strain.

    Health officials warn that a related, deadlier parasite seen in other countries could thrive in the U.S. due to these improved climatological conditions for the disease.

    The parasite known as leishmania spreads when sandflies, historically found in tropical climes, bite people. Sandflies carrying the parasite also infect other mammals such as woodrats which further allow its movement. Climate change, some researchers say, may be expanding the geographical reach of sandflies and, consequently, the reach of the disease.‚Äč

    A related parasite also comes in undetected by way of one million dogs entering the country annually. The U.S. doesn't have adequate screening in place for the parasite, which is something researchers hope to address...