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What is leishmaniasis?

Leishmaniasis is a disease that is spread by female phlebotomine sand flies. It is caused by a number of different species of the Leishmania parasite.

There are three types of leishmaniasis: cutaneous leishmaniasis, mucocutaneous leishmaniasis (also called mucosal leishmaniasis) and visceral leishmaniasis (also called kala-azar). Cutaneous leishmaniasis, which affects the skin, is the most common type of leishmaniasis. 

There is no vaccine or medication to protect against leishmaniasis.

What is my risk?

How is it transmitted?

What are the symptoms?

Cutaneous leishmaniasis

Mucocutaneous leishmaniasis

Visceral leishmaniasis

Can leishmaniasis be treated?

Where is leishmaniasis a concern?


Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.

  1. Prevent sand fly bites.
  1. If you develop symptoms similar to leishmaniasis when you are travelling or after you return, see a health care provider and tell them where you have been travelling or living.
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