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Title: The Association Between the Syrian Crisis and Cutaneous Leishmaniasis in Lebanon
Authors: Bizri, Nazih A
Alam, Walid
Khoury, Michel
Musharrafieh, Umayya
Ghosn, Nada
Berri, Atika
Bizri, Abdul Rahman
Affiliations: Faculty of Medicine 
Keywords: Cutaneous leishmaniasis
Issue Date: 2021
Part of: Acta Parasitologica
Volume: 66
Issue: 4
Start page: 1240
End page: 1245
Displacement of refugees from highly endemic areas of leishmaniasis to adjacent countries is associated with the spread of Leishmania. Syria is a country with a known high endemicity for cutaneous leishmaniasis and the presence of Syrian refugees in Lebanon has contributed to the re-emergence of the disease. The aim of this article is to evaluate the burden of cutaneous leishmaniasis in Lebanon in view of the presence of a large number of Syrian refugees.

Data regarding all cases of leishmaniasis were collected from reports by the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health-Epidemiology Surveillance (LMPH-ESU), and the World Health Organization (WHO) between 2005 and 2018. All cases were reviewed in terms of area of residence, age and gender, clinical presentation, treatment, and outcome. An extensive literature review was conducted using “PubMed”, “Medline”, and “Google Scholar”.

The annual number of leishmaniasis cases recorded in Lebanon between 2005 and 2011 ranged between 0 and 6 cases. In 2012, this number increased to 1275 cases and dropped to 263 in 2018, where all those infected were Syrian refugees from Aleppo, with zero cases of local transmission. Seventy-two percent of cases were seen in patients aged < 20 years. The predominant species of Leishmania was L. tropica followed by L. major.

Lebanon was affected by leishmaniasis following the Syrian crisis, and the influx of refugees to the country. Accurate disease monitoring and strategic training of healthcare personnel based within refugee camps are essential for proper containment. Preventative measures remain the best way to avoid both local and adjacent spread of leishmaniasis.
ISSN: 12302821
DOI: 10.1007/s11686-021-00395-3
Ezproxy URL: Link to full text
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Medicine

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