The district of Karak in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) is plagued by sand flies, with more than a dozen cases of children being bitten, leaving them with skin lesions, reported in the last week, a private news channel reported on Wednesday.
Residents of Palwas Sar area told the channel that the bite mark from the ‘mosquitoes’ leaves a scar on the body of the victim, and also afflicting them with headaches and fever.
The sand flies have bitten a number of children in Shankai, Malagi Banda, Wargha Banda, and other rural areas of the district.
The symptoms related to the bite include skin sores, which occur after weeks or months after an individual is bitten. Fear of leishmaniasis outbreak is rampant in the area.
Other consequences, which can manifest anywhere from a few months to years after infection, include fever, damage to the spleen and liver, and anaemia.
Although the disease is often self-healing, it can create permanent scars on the body. Children, especially girls in the age group of 1-5 years are common victims.
Upon Inquiry, health department officials told the channel that a fumigation drive cannot be started in the district due to unavailability of funds.
Earlier in 2005, the World Health Organization (WHO) had expressed concern over prevalence of leishmaniasis in different parts of KP and called for adopting measures to control the ailment.