Kala Azar (Black fever) Case in West Bengal

In West Bengal, around 65 cases of Kala Azar (black fever) were reported across 11 districts in recent weeks.

Key Facts

  • However, there is no outbreak of the disease in state and cases are in limit, set by Union government.
  • Union government aims to reduce Black fever cases to less than one per 10,000 population at block level, in a bid to eliminate the disease.
  • The disease is endemic to 11 districts of West Bengal, including Malda, North Dinajpur, Darjeeling, South Dinajpur, and Kalimpong.
  • In India, cases of Black fever are mainly reported from 54 districts across four states viz., West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand.

What is Kala-azar?

Kala-azar or Black fever is scientifically called as Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL). It is a complex protozoan parasitic disease, caused due to parasite called Leishmania donovani. Sandfly Phlebotomine argentipus is the medium of its transmission.

What are the causes of Kala-Azar?

The Kala-Azar disease is caused due to weak immune system, malnutrition, poor housing. It mainly affects poorest people. It can also be caused due to environmental changes like deforestation, irrigation schemes, building of dams, and urbanization.

Symptoms of Kala-Azar

As per World Health Organisation (WHO), people with Kala-azar can be characterized by symptoms like irregular bouts of fever, enlargement of the spleen & liver, weight loss, and anaemia.

Treatment of Kala-Azar

Kala-Azar can be diagnosed by merging the clinical signs with parasitological, or serological tests like rapid diagnostic tests.

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