A skin disease caused by a sand fly has broken out in parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Karak district, reportedly affecting over 554 people in a week.
As many as 167 cases were reported from Bahadur Khel village while 387 cases were reported from Nari Panoos village in just a day.
The number of cases was confirmed by the Karak district health officer.
According to the health department, around 6,000 people have been affected by this skin disease in the last three years. Majority of the patients include women and children.
Leishmaniasis, the scientific name of the disease, is caused by parasites of the Leishmania type and spread by the bite of certain types of sand flies. Karak is reportedly plagued by sand flies and people are being bitten leaving them with skin lesions. The bite mark leaves a scar on the body of the victims and also afflicts them with headaches and a fever.
The symptoms related to the bite include skin sores, which occur weeks or months after an individual is bitten. The locals expressed the fear of its spread and asked the provincial health department to make prompt efforts to stop the outbreak of the disease in the district.