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Kala Azar

What is Kala-Azar?

Kala-Azar is a chronic and possibly deadly parasitic disease caused by the infection of a parasite called Leishmania Donovani. It mainly affects internal organs, such as the spleen, bone marrow, liver and lymph nodes.

What are the symptoms of Kala-Azar?

The major signs of the disease are weakness, lack of appetite, recurrent fever, anemia, lymphadenopathy and swelling of the liver and spleen.

How is Kala-Azar transmitted?

Kala-Azar is widespread in rural areas of the tropical and subtropical countries in the world. The disease is transmitted to humans by the bite of the female Phlebotomus Sandfly that is infected by the parasite. The incubation period is normally two to six months.

How is Kala-Azar diagnosed?

Kala-Azar can be diagnosed using both clinical and laboratory methods.

  • Clinical: If a person has case of fever for more than two weeks duration and does not respond to anti-malaria medication and antibiotics, they may be diagnosed with Kala Azar.
  • Laboratory: A variety of serology tests are available for the diagnosis of Kala-Azar. Parasite demonstration in bone marrow/spleen/lymph node aspiration or in the culture medium is the confirmatory diagnosis.

Source: National Portal Content Management Team, Reviewed on:10-02-2011