Infectious Diseases / Outbreak Watch

Leishmaniasis Outbreak in ISIS Held Raqqa, Syria

Leishamaniasis, a disease caused by Leishmania donovani, and spread by the sand fly, is reportedly raging through the capital of the Caliphate held by ISIS, Raqqa, Syria. Newspaper reports contend that there may be as many as 2,500 cases of Leishmaniasis in the city, which has become the focus of military strikes by multiple nations that has targeted it as the stronghold of the ISIS.

The city of Raqqa reportedly lies in ruins and amidst massive shortage of medical personnel and drugs, the outbreak is likely to get worse. This further goes to highlight the impact that social, political and civil unrest has on health, and takes the discourse of infectious disease outbreaks and controls to domains beyond medical issues. Social, economic and political determinants are equally important in deciding the outcome of infectious diseases in today’s world.
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