Photo Credit: Center for Disease Control (CDC) / public domain
Skin ulcer due to Leishmaniasis. (illustrative only)

To everything in its season, and so the tide has turned once more in the Middle East. What bombing could not end, God’s Mighty Hand may accomplish with a tiny fly.

Fighters for Daesh, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist organization, are now being attacked by a terrible skin disease called Leishmaniasis.

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Two types of the disease have been identified in the region: Leishmaniasis major, and Leishmaniasis tropica. Both are carried and transmitted by parasites hosted on sand flies in the environment.

Although an article by Hadassah Medical Center says the disease cannot be transferred from person to person, researchers found in a study published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases in 2003 that such transmission may indeed be possible, since parasites can jump.

An outbreak of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis (CL) in the Galilee region of northern Israel in 2003 was discussed in the article which noted 33 cases in four villages and in the city of Tiberias were diagnosed between 1996 and 2003. The disease, which spread through parasites and sand flies, had mutated from its predecessor, Leishmania major and other tropical diseases.

CL due to Leishmania major as opposed to MCL and VL (two other forms) was defined as being zoonotic and much more difficult to treat. The cutaneous lesions were said to last much longer and the disease was described as life-threatening if it progressed to visceral leishmaniasis (VL). The study found that rock hyraxes found in northern Israel around Lake Kinneret were the most probable reservoir hosts for the parasites that carry the disease.

If that is true, then so too is it likely that ISIS fighters are facing a difficult time because it was mentioned that the parasites also jump from person to person, as well from the living animals around them.

More to the point, the disease is caused by poor hygiene and bad living conditions; it has affected at least 100,000 people in Syria, according to the latest reports. It can result in open flesh wounds, ulcers, an enlarged spleen and liver, anemia and ultimately lead to death.

Although it’s pretty easy to treat, there are very few medics and trained medical professionals left in Syria and ISIS-controlled Iraq who know how to manage it.

Volunteers with the Doctors Without Borders organization of course know how to handle it – but since ISIS is deeply dedicated to kidnapping, torturing and murdering those helping hands, it’s not likely they are going to see any help from them. Ditto for Syrian government troops for the same reason.

Ironically, a new project was launched last year by the Israeli Pharmaseed research company to track down a treatment for this disease.

Four partners were recruited for the project. Two of the four — the Dead Sea and Arava Science Centers – identified 70 plant extracts that may be relevant for fighting the parasite.

The Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, meanwhile, will test the efficacy of the extracts on leishmaniasis samples.

Pharmaseed is coordinating the project and is responsible for safety tests, and for assessing the potential efficacy of the extracts being tested.

Jordan University of Science and Technology Prof. Nabil Hailat will carry out advanced live and clinical trials (on humans) in Jordan, which should yield the test results.

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198 COMMENTS

  1. Leishmaniasis, quite common in the South of Israel, Negev and Dead Sea area. Also throughout the region . I still have the scars on my legs, after walking around barefoot all the time and hiking in the Wadi. The bites are easily infected and the ulcerations take a long time to close up. If it’s in the area of your face , neck then it’s scarring for life .

  2. Innocent blood shed from their wicked hands. Eventually it’s only human to mental fall apart mentally due to killing human lives . The human brain in not gear to stand all those killings. We were not created for that purpose.it catches up to the human spirit. The beginning of wisdom is the fear of The Lord (Reverence)

  3. You know one should not laugh at another man’s trouble but in watching how God works just simply amazes me. In the Bible when Phelistians took the Ark of the Covenant and put it in their pagan temple God told them to take it back the the Jews. They refused to do it so what did God do it states that he inflicted all rich and poor and great men with enrods. Today we would call Enrods by another name like Hymrodes. They didn’t have Preperaton H back then and a lot of them died from it. God sure can be a pain in the butt sometime to the wicked.

  4. Zechariah 14:12
    This is the plague with which the LORD will strike all the nations that fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths.

  5. God is defending His own… Amen.. Don’t touch His anointed… The Isis are reaping what they have sown… God cannot be mocked. He ways are higher and His thoughts are above what we can comprehend.. Hallelujah.. To God be all the glory.. Amen.

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