Visceral Leishmaniasis

Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a parasitic disease found in tropical and subtropical areas. It is a chronic systemic disease that mainly affects children under five years of age; it may be associated with malnutrition and other conditions of immunosuppression such as HIV-AIDS. If adequate treatment is not initiated in a timely manner, it can progress to death in 90% of cases. Each year, an average of 3,500 cases of visceral leishmaniasis are reported, with an average case fatality rate of 7%. Visceral leishmaniasis has been reported in 13 countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela).