News FocusInfectious Diseases

Has Leishmaniasis Become Endemic in the U.S.?

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Science  08 Dec 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5498, pp. 1881-1883
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5498.1881

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Believed to be all but absent from United States, the Leishmania parasite has infected more than 1000 hunting dogs in 21 U.S. states and the Canadian province of Ontario. Nobody is claiming that the disease is about to run riot among the U.S. population. But the widespread outbreak in dogs has experts wondering whether visceral leishmaniasis--which sickens over half a million people yearly in South America, Africa, the Mediterranean, and India--has become an endemic disease in North America.