Rudaw, a Kurdish media network funded and supported by the Rudaw Company in Iraq, reported on December 3 (hereinafter “local time”) that leishmaniasis, the deadly “flesh-eating” disease, was rapidly spreading in Syria. This report has created a stir. Rudaw accused IS (Islamic State) of spreading this infectious disease by dumping rotting corpses in the streets.
The World Health Organization (WHO) warned that Syria’s healthcare system had collapsed in the past five years due to the country’s civil war. As the healthcare system in Syria has been destroyed, the Syrian people are helpless against infectious diseases. Rudaw pointed out that the Syrian people were being attacked by a disease after they had been attacked by bombs.
A Syrian Kurdish fighter said, ”We did not have knowledge about this deadly disease before. We fought on the battlefield for almost four years and this disease basically generated from embattled areas of Tai Hamis (in the northeast of Syria).” Leishmaniasis is caused by infection with Leishmania parasites, which are spread by the bite of infected sand flies. Leishmania parasites are 2~3㎛ in size; they live in the human body and eat the flesh.
The first case of this disease was reported in September, 2013. According to activists in Syria, 500 people had been infected with the disease by June, 2014..
Reporter Lee Seul[firstname.lastname@example.org]