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Leishmaniasis - What
Americans Do Not Know

By Patricia Doyle

Helllo Jeff - What Americans do not know is the fact that the vector of Leishmaniasis - the Sand Fly - has a very wide range across the US.  It is found in Florida and as far north as New Jersey.

As we are importing the reservoir of this horrible parasite...and already have the vector for it in the indigenous Sand Fly - we can expect to see a rise...a tremendous Leishmaniasis cases - as well as other diseases carried by Sand Flies.   It is common sense and has nothing to do with ecotourism.  

Once Leishmaniasis becomes LOCALLY-acquired, there will be no stopping it. As more and more people carry the disease there will be more cases for sure.



What Do They Look Like?

Sand fly adults are small flies ≠ only about 3 mm long ≠ and are golden, brownish or gray colored. They have long, piercing mouthparts that are well adapted for sucking blood from their selected host. Sand flies hold their hairy-looking wings in a vertical V-shape when at rest, a characteristic that distinguishes them from some other small flies. Also, the six legs on the adults are extremely long, being longer than the insectís body.


Sand flies are worldwide in distribution. However, based on their genus, distribution is categorized as either old world or new world sand flies. The genera Lutzomyia, Brumptomia and Warileya occur in the new world countries, while the genera Phlebotomus and Sergentiomyia occur in the old world countries. Lutzomyia occupy the largest distribution range in the U.S. and are found as far north as New Jersey and as far south as Florida.
More Information

Sand fly diseases are transmitted by the bite of infected female sand flies in many parts of the world. Some of the more important sand fly transmitted diseases include:

    Cutaneous leishmaniasis
    Visceral leishmaniasis
    Sand fly fever
    Carrions disease
    Pappataci fever
    Vesicular stomatitis virus