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Doctors And Veterinarians Warn About Dangers Of Leishmaniasis

Veterinarians around the globe meet to discuss the dangers of Leishmaniasis.

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About 300 veterinarians from around the globe met in June at the International Symposium of experts on Human and Canine Leishmaniasis in Madrid. Veterinarians discussed keys to eradicating Leishmaniasis and how the disease affects the population in Spain and in other countries.

Leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease spread by the bite of the sandfly. Cutaneous leishmaniasis affects the skin and sometimes the mucus membranes. Symptoms include skin sores, which may become a skin ulcer that heals slowly, ulcers and wearing away in the mouth, tongue, gums, lips and inner nose, stuffy nose, runny nose and nosebleeds and difficulty breathing and swallowing.

A systemic visceral infection can cause abdominal discomfort, cough, vomiting and diarrhea in children, a fever that lasts for weeks and may come and go in cycles, night sweats, scaly, gray, dark, ashen skin, thinning hair and weight loss.

Dr. Guadalupe Miró, professor at the department of parasitology and parasitic diseases at the Complutense University in Madrid, and Dr. Rogelio López-Vélez, head of the Tropical Medicine Unit of the Infectious Diseases Service at the Ramón and Cajal Hospital in Madrid, took part in the symposium and explained the keys to the clinical treatment of the disease.

Dr. Fernando Fariñas, co-director of the Pathology and Infectious Diseases Institute in Malaga and the Centre of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Immunology in Granada, provided information relevant to the advance in the diagnosis and cure of the disease and compared how the leishmaniasis affects the immune system on people and animals.

Dr. Vera Camargo from Brazil and Dr. Patrick Bordeau from France provided attendees with comprehensive training, covering all approaches to the work of physicians and veterinarians to help them in their daily occupation at their surgery or doctor's office. Experts recommend taking maximum preventive measures in order to avoid infection.

Merck Animal Health, which had a presence at the Madrid meeting, reports that their 4 percent deltamethrin-impregnated collar, Scalibor, shows a reduction in the seroprevalence of the canine Leishmaniasis and in the effect on dogs and people has been achieved. Merck Animal Health studies suggest 80 percent effectiveness of disease prevention.

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