Why in news?
Study warns Kala azar patients can infect others even after treatment and can be a source of infection for others in their community.
What is this disease?
- Visceral leishmaniasis is the most severe form of leishmaniasis, and without proper diagnosis and treatment is associated with high fatality.
- It is known by several names kala-azar, black fever and Dumdum fever.
- Caused by protozoan Leishmania, it first affects the liver, spleen and bone marrow and then migrate to inner organs.
- Fever, lack of weight, tiredness, anaemia and hepatitis and spleen swelling, skin thickness, fatigue etc.. are the signs and symptoms.
- The parasite is transmitted to humans by the bite of female sand flies.
- It has been endemic to four states in India – Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Uttar Pradesh.
- In 2014, the government launched the Kala Azar Elimination Programme with support from international agencies which focuses on the four endemic states and has been on the verge of eliminating the disease.