Skip to comments.Rare, non-fatal skin disease found in N. Texans[may have migrated north from the Mexican border]
Posted on 09/14/2007 8:49:40 PM PDT by SwinneySwitch
Dermatologists in North Texas were alerted Friday to be on the lookout for a rare skin infection caused by a parasite that may have migrated north from the Mexican border.
The disease, leishmaniasis, typically causes a half-dollar-sized boil that takes six to 12 months to heal. It is not considered life-threatening.
Doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center said they have identified nine cases of the skin disease in North Texans in recent months. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that all nine people, both adults and children, were infected by the parasite, Leishmania mexicana.
Typically found in Mexico or along the Texas border, it is carried by wood-burrowing rats and spread by tiny sand flies that bite both the rats and humans.
"None of the North Texas cases had traveled south or to parts of the world where the disease is endemic, which suggests they got it here," said Dr. Kent Aftergut, a Dallas dermatologist who identified the first apparent local infection in March.
Weldon Hatch, a 58-year-old Waxahachie man, said he sought Dr. Aftergut's care after two small red spots appeared on his shoulder in February. Later, the lesions grew to the size of a quarter, became itchy and painful.
"All the creams and salves didn't do anything," he said. "So my doctor gave up, and I went to an expert."
Dr. Aftergut diagnosed the skin ailment and later shared Mr. Hatch's case with other Dallas-area dermatologists, who realized they had treated similar cases.
The other leishmaniasis cases were confirmed in Hillsboro in Hill County, Tom Bean in Grayson County, Anna and Nevada in Collin County, Savoy in Fannin County, North Richland Hills in Tarrant County, and in Glenn Heights, which straddles Dallas and Ellis counties.
Dr. Barbara Herwaldt of the CDC's division of parasitic diseases....
(Excerpt) Read more at dallasnews.com ...
What is leishmaniasis?
It's an infectious skin disease spread by sand flies.
What should I do if I develop a boil?
Go to your doctor and be tested for the parasite that causes the disease.
How serious is the disease?
It's a mild disease, though the boil could be painful and large. It often is misdiagnosed and can take as long as a year to heal.
How do you avoid being infected?
You should use insect repellent and wear protective clothing when outdoors between dusk and dawn, when the flies usually feed.
SOURCE: UT Southwestern Medical Center
And you thought your mosquitoes were bad this year.
Why is it when I read about this stuff, I get all itchy?
I heard about this a year or so ago and as I recall, it was debunked by some twerps like snopes or some other know it all website.
Sorry, too tired and don’t get HTML, foriegn language to me.
If you want on, or off this S. Texas/Mexico ping list, please FReepMail me.
Photos of lesions:
The Arkansas Legislature will have meeting about the cost of illegal immigration next Tuesday. The State Health Department is one of the organizations scheduled to testify.
LEEEEISSSH- MAAANIA VII!!!!
Heh. Late nights of studying in med school...memories.
Just another benefit of open borders.
You’re a doctor ? Which end, dude ?
Paging Dr. House...
Well, technically, most Leishmaniasis is found in the Middle East. It could have come from our soldiers in Iraq. Or perhaps someone else crossing our border from the Middle East...
But dammit this shouldn’t be showing up in this country!
Ewww thats nasty looking.
>>>Youre a doctor ? Which end, dude ?<<<
Going to be. Applying to residencies here soon enough.
How come you went out to WY for that ? We have all the med stuff here in Nashville. So you gonna be a GP, a nad grabber, a head shrinker, or you gonna specialize in plastic and silicone ? ;-)
A paste made of onions might be helpful in the initial phase of the disease, when the first lesion occurs...
Anti-leishmanial effect of aqueous onion extract
Leishmania spp. are intracellular parasitic haemoflagellates that infect macrophages of the skin and viscera to produce disease in their vertebrate hosts. Three major clinical manifestations of leishmaniasis are recognized: visceral, cutaneous and muco- cutaneous leishmaniasis. The disease usually presents as fever, weight loss and hepato-splenomegaly with biochemical abnormalities of hyper-small gamma, Greek-globulinemia and pancytopenia. It has received increasing attention in developed countries because of the growing number of cases seen in AIDS patients and the occurrence of viescerotropic L. tropica disease among Persian Gulf war participants.
Pentavalent antimonial drugs, have remained standard treatment for visceral leishmaniasis since the 1940s. These drugs not only have several adverse effects but drug resistance and treatment failures are becoming increasingly common especially in immunocompromised patients who often fail to respond or relapse. Amphotericin B and its new lipid formulations are used as second line of treatment. However, these are severely limited due to prolonged length of therapy and adverse reactions. Thus, there is still a need for development of new and safe drugs. Onion has had an important dietary and medicinal role for centuries, hence, Saleheen and others at The Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan and Institute of Biochemistry, University of Balochistan, Quetta, Pakistan studied the anti-leishmanial effect of aqueous onion (Allium cepa Linn.) extract (AOE) on leishmanial promastigotes in vitro. Five leishmanial strains in the promastigote stage were studied in vitro. Seventy-two hours inoculation of AOE gave an IC100 and average IC50 values of 1.25 mg/ml and 0.376 mg/ml, respectively, against all leishmanial strains tested.
During experiment fresh onions were peeled, cut into small pieces, crushed in a blender pre-cooled at 4 °C and onion extract was prepared. Concentrations of AOE ranging from 10 to 0.07 mg/ml were tested for its anti-leishmanial activity. The concentration of 1.25 mg/ml was found to be leishmanicidal for all the leishmanial strains tested, whereas 50% parasites of all strains were found to be dead at an average value of 0.376 mg/ml after 72 hrs of treatment [Saleheen et al, Fitoterapia, 2004, 75(1), 9-13].
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