Splette's Travel Blog


Looks like I got my first exotic parasitic disease. ….or not?

A few days ago, I felt a strong itch on my ankle and scratched it hard until it started bleeding. I thought this was just another of those annoying mosquito bites. But the wound, about the size of a finger nail, didn’t show any sign of healing since then. Yesterday I had a closer look at it and it seems to resemble the symptoms of one of those tropical diseases not uncommon here in Central America: leishmaniasis. It is being contracted by the bite of certain species of sand fly that injects protozoan parasites (Leishmania) into the wound. The main symptoms of the resulting disease, Leishmaniasis are skin lesions at the location of the bite. I am concerned because I have been bitten by plenty of sand flies over the past month, especially around my ankles.

Obviously I need to know, Leishmaniasis or not.

I put my trust in the collective wisdom of my faithful blog readership and let you decide about it. Here is a photo of a confirmed leishmaniasis case (left) and in comparison a photo of my wound (right). For further reading I suggest the Wikipedia article on the topic. And google image search has a lot more photographic material.

Please, inspect those photos, educate yourself about leishmaniasis, consult an expert, do something!

Confirmed case of leishmaniasis (© www.dragonfly75.com)


My wound: Leishmaniasis or not?

My wound

And vote responsibly, please. My life lies in your hands…



Do I have leishmaniasis?

  • I don’t think so… (63%, 5 Votes)
  • Maybe (38%, 3 Votes)
  • Definitely! (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 8

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Update: Thanks for voting and saving my life, everyone. Your collected wisdom turned out to be correct.

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  • Comment by durba — July 30, 2011 @ 3:19 am


  • Comment by Evelyn — July 30, 2011 @ 7:36 am

    Oh-oh…I sure hope you can find another explanation…
    How large is your wound?
    Can’t spider bites look quite similar, too?

  • Comment by Splette — July 30, 2011 @ 12:39 pm

    It’s maybe a square-cm or two.
    I am pretty sure it’s not a spider bite.
    Got some antibiotics today.
    Maybe I should post photos of the wound daily, so you can watch how it develops?

  • Comment by Evelyn — August 1, 2011 @ 1:17 pm

    Oh yes please, daily pictures of disgusting wounds! *shudder*

  • Comment by Sampath Koppole — August 2, 2011 @ 3:14 am

    Oh, I was quite busy last week and missed reading your blog (in spite of seeing a update in my Google Reader). I was a bit concerned when I saw this post and immediately, I saw the other post and was relieved that it is simple-bite (sorry, if it hurts bad !).

    Good luck and get well soon,

  • Comment by charles john — May 31, 2015 @ 7:01 pm

    Two possibilities late-stage leishmaniasis or trypanosomiasis I tend to I tend to believe the later. A microscope examination would help by defining key elements for diagnosis. A top scrape or particularly around the perimeter of the lesion.

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