Tag Archives: sand flies

Black Fever Vaccine May Be Coming Soon

The black fever is a deadly disease transmitted via the bite of an infected sand fly. It usually develops over several months or years. If black fever is not treated, it can be fatal. It is also called leishmaniasis. Sand fly bites may leave large, red itchy bumps that may turn into a rash. These bumps are frequently several times as itchy as mosquito bites, and tend to last longer as well.

Sand flies on Georges River – via Wikipedia

After years of research scientists are testing the first vaccine against the deadliest form of a disease that infects more than 12 million people worldwide.  Black fever has been known in several parts of the world like India and Brazil and American troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan have been plagued by what they call “Baghdad Boil.” Black fever has expanded its way into the United States starting in Texas.

Globally, the World Health Organization says the disease is spreading as a result of deforestation, irrigation and dam building that expand habitat for sand flies.  If warming continues, one analysis warns, sand flies in the United States could expand their range as far north as the Canadian border.

It will take months of study to see if this vaccine will work. The work is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Some of the symptoms of black fever include:

  • Fever
  • Fatique
  • Night Sweats
  • Loss of appetitie
  • Weight loss
  • Thinning hair
  • Enlarged spleen, liver or lymph nodes
  • Vomiting and diarrhea in children
Complications may arise from this disease such as disfigured face, a damaged immune system and hemorrhaging.
What is used to fightagainst this infectious disease?  The most common treatment is medicines containing antimony compounds. Cure rates are high with antimony compounds. For best results, treatment should be given before damage to the immune system has occurred.

Have you known or treated anyone with the black fever?