9 cases of human leishmaniasis have been reported in N. Texas. This disease is found in South America ,Mexico and the Middle East. It has also been called "the Baghdad boil" and is caused by the single celled parasite Leishmania. The infection causes large sores that look like boils and usually last six to 12 months. Doctors suspect human infection begins when a sand fly bites a rodent called the burrowing wood rat, which carries the parasite. When the sand fly later bites a person, the sores may develop.
( on line lecture-Dr Andrews bio-seminars link)For those who contract Leishmaniasis weeks of hospital treatment with some very strong drugs is required. Nearly all patients experience side effects from the drug, which include debilitating fevers and headaches, incredible fatigue, and other conditions including chemical pancreatitis.
The best drug for treating Leishmaniasis is called Pentosam, registered in Britain since 1978. This drug, which is based on the heavy metal, antimony, is not registered in the United States. U.S. servicemen are being treated with it because the surgeon general of the Army has a special arrangement with the Food and Drug Administration for "Investigational New Drug Protocols," and the Centers for Disease Control maintain a supply. INDP is an odd way of describing a drug that was originally developed in the 1950s, but at least the troops are able to get it. If a civilian like me were to find himself with the "Baghdad Boil," I'd have to fly to England to buy the drug or hope the CDC in Atlanta looked kindly on me.