Black fever which is usually known as ‘Kala-Azar’ in India is one of the most hazardous and highly contagious diseases. It is carried out by the bites from phlebotomine female known as sand-flies. One bite of infected sand flies is sufficient to transmit the potentially fatal protozoa known as Leishmania, resulting in black-fever.
Black fever was once an epidemic in many regions of India. In the era of 1900, Bihar was on the top list in which more than three lakh cases of black fever were reported. Because of its grip, millions of people lost their lives.
Causes: As already mentioned, black fever is transmitted by the bites from infected sand-flies. Sand flies feed on the blood of animals and humans in order to develop eggs. Sometimes when these sand flies carrying Leishmania parasite feed on the blood of animals, it spreads the disease. In a country like India, cows are symbolic to religious sentiments and are often worshipped, while others treat them as a source of income. All this signifies that humans and these animals have a close association which increases the chances of infection.
Signs and Symptoms: The symptoms of black fever is somewhat similar to that of dengue. Early indications involve weakness and fatigue, followed by consistent fever. Other symptoms include night sweats, loss of appetite and frequent loss of weight. In some cases, darkening and greying of the skin, enlarged liver and swollen lymph nodes are considered to be heightened. All these problems are major signs of black fever.
So, if you feel like you are going through any of the above indications or you might feel that someone else is undergoing this phase than do not waste a second and contact the nearest doctor promptly.
Precautions: There are some preventive measures that one can incorporate to avoid the chances of getting the black fever. Cover up the exposed body parts while going out, especially children and people aged above 50. Also, use insect repellent creams, to ensure you are protected from mosquitoes and sand-flies. Try natural insect repellent creams that are good and healthy for your skin too. Last but not least, cover up any leftover foods, to ensure that no insects, flies or mosquitoes sit on that.
Treatment for black fever are available, but they do have some major side-effects. Though black fever is a chronic fatal disease, it can be avoided by early preventive measures and close attention. Your health is in your hand. You are the only one who can ensure the safety of yourself and the one you are close to.