Even the thought of having a parasite is extremely alarming, that is the last thing that anyone wants to deal with but it’s the reality as there is a skin-disfiguring parasite that has been found in Texas. What’s unusual about this specific parasite is that officials used to believe that this was only found overseas, but things have gotten more serious. We’re to the point now that the Center for Disease Control is not monitoring the situation. 

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Texas isn’t the only state that needs to watch out for this horrible parasite as there are several states around us that could also see a rise in cases in regard to this parasite.  

What is the Parasite Called? 

This horrible parasite is called Leishmania, you contract the parasite after being bit by a sand fly. As you would expect, you see many of these sand flies in the Gulf region of the country. They are not very big, only about a quarter of the size of a normal mosquito. They bite their victim while searching for blood, the parasite is then transferred as the fly is sucking the blood. Ugh, that sounds disgusting and horrible. 

What Are the Symptoms of Leishmania? 

The common symptoms include skin sores, fever, weight loss, swelling in the spleen and liver, and anemia. In rare cases, the parasite can even be fatal. YIKES! 

How Do You Avoid the Parasite? 

At this time there is no vaccine or drug to treat the parasite caused infection. The best advice is to limit your time around sand flies, which are typically most active in the early evening. 

Don’t be scared to visit the Gulf Shore area just be aware of the dangers while you’re there and limit your exposure. 

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