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2. What Are the Symptoms of Leishmaniasis?

The clinical manifestation of leishmaniasis differs depending on the form of the disease. In cutaneous leishmaniasis, skin sores are common. Following an incubation period, papules develop on exposed areas of the body. Over time, they increase in size and ulcerate before crusting over. Despite their appearance, the lesions are typically painless unless there is a secondary infection (e.g., fungal, bacterial). For those with visceral leishmaniasis, fever and weight loss are common, in addition to swelling of the liver and spleen. In some instances, individuals may also have reduced blood counts, specifically low platelet(thrombocytopenia), white blood (leukopenia) and red blood cell counts (anemia). If left untreated, the condition can be life-threatening. In mucocutaneous leishmaniasis, initial symptoms may be similar to that of cutaneous leishmaniasis. Over time, however, lesions develop in the mucosal regions of the mouth, nose, and throat cavities, resulting in distortion of the face.

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