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Black Fever

What is Black Fever?

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.

Black fever is also called kala-azar and leishmaniasis.  

What Causes Black Fever?    

Black fever is caused by a protozoa called Leishmania. The parasitic life cycle of leishamania includes the sandfly and an appropriate host. Humans are one of those hosts.

Symptoms of Black Fever

Some common symptoms of black fever are:

  • persistent fever
  • night sweats
  • fatigue
  • weakness
  • appetite loss
  • weight loss
  • abdominal discomfort, vague
  • vomiting (children)
  • diarrhea (children)
  • cough (children)
  • scaly skin
  • anemia
  • gray, dark, ashen skin
  • thinning hair
  • enlarged spleen
  • enlarged liver
  • enlarged lymph nodes

Can Black Fever be Treated?

Yes. If treated properly, black fever can be cured. The most common treatment is medicine 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.

Complications of Black Fever

Some common complications of black fever are:

  • facial disfigurement
  • damaged immune system
  • hemorrhage
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