Patient Comments: Leishmaniasis - Cause and Transmission

If known, what was the cause of your leishmaniasis, or how was it transmitted?

Comment from: Michael, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: June 09

I spent all of 2003 and 2004 in Iraq and got leishmaniasis. When we first arrived in Tel Afar in 03 there was a massive infestation of field mice near the airfield. Military corps dusted the area to kill them off. Then the sand flea/fly fed off of them transmitting the parasites to the flea. I was the only one out of 35 in my platoon that didn't have to get the 10 day IV treatment. My body fought the disease on its own. Results of that have been heart breaking for me. The parasite carried an anti-body called alpha-gal. Alpha-gal is also a sugar that is found in the protein of red meat therefore my body continues to fight. Which means, yes, I am now allergic to red meat. Medically if you develop this you will be sick to your stomach and not feel good for multiple days sometimes weeks. Although in Iraq I wouldn't have noticed with the dysentery.

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Comment from: Army Girl, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 14

I contracted it from a sand fly in Iraq in 2004 while serving with the U.S. Army.

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Leishmaniasis - Signs and Symptoms Question: What were the signs and symptoms associated with your leishmaniasis?
Leishmaniasis - Diagnosis Question: What tests or procedures did you receive that led to a diagnosis of leishmaniasis?
Leishmaniasis - Treatment Question: What treatment or medication did you receive for your leishmaniasis?

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