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Batten down the mosquito netting
March 18, 2004 11:19 AM   Subscribe

Batten down the mosquito netting In Iraq: "Now a new wave of unexpected horror, leishmaniasis, is arriving at WRAMC – which has the only accredited leishmaniasis lab in the United States – and its dedicated docs are burning the midnight oil to find a treatment. A model predicts that 1 percent to 4 percent of our soldiers in Iraq can expect to be hit by this potentially deadly parasite, delivered by the bite of infected sand flies as common in the Middle East as fleas on a wild dog. "
posted by Postroad (9 comments total)

 
I can't remember if this is the same parasite that my girlfriend from Zambia told me about.

That one involved little bugs laying eggs under your skin. Eventually the eggs hatch, and the new borns crawl out to greet the world from holes they've chewed from the inside.

But that may have been something else. Treatment, if I recall, was fairly straightforward.
posted by alms at 12:02 PM on March 18, 2004


Nasty stuff. Here's a detailed article from the National Review and of course the CDC has broken it down.
posted by roboto at 1:32 PM on March 18, 2004


How are the soldiers any less protected than the natives from this, and how come it didn't happen in the last Iraq war?
posted by abcde at 1:44 PM on March 18, 2004


RTFA it DID happen in Gulf War I and is contracted in several asian and middle eastern countries including Afghanistan. Soldiers are so exposed because, camping in the desert, it is usually so hot they leave tents open for air, sleep in shorts, and sweat the repellant off during sleep.
posted by roboto at 2:02 PM on March 18, 2004


Wow, that was my most flagrant failure to RTFA yet. Sorry.
posted by abcde at 2:09 PM on March 18, 2004


Heh. You may be better off not reading more. I'm afraid I'll be having gross creepy itchy dreams tonight.
posted by roboto at 2:29 PM on March 18, 2004


Nice to see people taking an interest, now that it affects vital U.S. military assets. But: Visceral leishmaniasis is common in less developed countries...Despite these urgent needs, research and development has been neglected, because a disease that mainly affects the poor ranks as a low priority in the private sector, and the public sector currently struggles to undertake the development of drugs and diagnostics in the absence of adequate funds and infrastructure.
posted by stonerose at 3:34 PM on March 18, 2004


One of the articles links to something saying, "DDT never hurt anyone." I find the entire article in question now.
posted by agregoli at 8:24 AM on March 19, 2004


If you plan to eat anytime in the next couple of days,
you may wish to avoid using google image search to
look up "leishmaniasis".

You have been warned!

(take a pass on "bot fly" too - another one of the few cases where google is not your friend)
posted by milovoo at 8:45 AM on March 19, 2004


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