65 kala-azar cases in 11 Bengal districts
Tags: State News
Eleven districts of Bengal, mostly in the northern part of the state, have reported at least 65 cases of black fever, also known as 'kala-azar', in the past few weeks.
The districts which reported the maximum number of cases include Darjeeling, Malda, Uttar Dinajpur, Dakshin Dinajpur and Kalimpong.
Some cases of Kala-azar have also been reported in Birbhum, Bankura, Purulia, Murshidabad districts.
"Kala-azar was practically wiped out from West Bengal.
It was found that the disease was mostly in people who have spent a lot of time in Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh.
Symptoms of Kala-azar have also been seen in some people who came from Bangladesh.
What is Kala-azar?
It is also known as Visceral leishmaniasis (VL), black fever and Dumdum fever.
The disease is the second largest parasite killer in the world after Malaria.
It is a Neglected Tropical Disease affecting about 100 countries including India.
Fever, weight loss, fatigue, anaemia, and swelling of the liver and spleen.
It is caused by protozoan parasites of the Leishmania genus.
It migrates to the internal organs such as the liver, spleen and bone marrow.
The study warns that kala-azar patients can infect others even after treatment.
National Kala-azar Eradication Program
India's National Health Policy, 2002, set a target of eliminating Kala-azar by 2010, which was revised in 2015.
Under Kala-azar eradication in India, a target of 1 case per 10,000 population was set at the sub-district level.
All the activities related to this program are being implemented through the National Vector Borne Disease Control Program.
India signed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bangladesh and Nepal to eliminate Kala-azar from the South-East Asia region.
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