Author(s): Sharifi I, Nakhaei N, Aflatoonian M, Parizi MH, Fekri A,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: The recent devastating earthquake of December 26 in Bam, 2003 created various risk factors; caused a sharp increase in incidence of anthroponotic cutaneous leishmaniasis (ACL) cases and reached to an epidemic proportion. The objective of this study was to evaluate the status of ACL cases five years before the earthquake compared to the cases occurred five years after the earthquake (1999-2008). METHODS: Status of disease was assessed retrospectively for the five years before the earthquake and prospectively for the five years after the earthquake. Identification was confirmed by smear and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). RESULTS: The mean annual incidence of ACL for the period from 1999 to 2003 was 1.9 per 1000 comparing to post earthquake period, which was 7.6 per 1000. Most of the infection was in individuals of <20 years, more frequently in females before the earthquake, whilst in contrast, there was a progressive rise in the number of cases, significantly in male individuals of >20 years (P< 0.0001) in post earthquake era. The anatomical distribution of lesions considerably changed during the two periods. Most of the cases were limited to three zones within the city prior to the earthquake, whereas it was spread throughout different zones after the earthquake. PCR indicated that the CL was due to Leishmania tropica in the city. CONCLUSION: The results strongly suggest that in natural disasters such as earthquakes various precipitating factors in favor of disease will be created, which in turn provide a suitable condition for propagation of the vector and the transmission of the parasite.
This article was published in Iran J Public Health
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy