Sandfly Fever

Sandfly (phlebotomus) fever is a common but nonlethal disease caused by a Phlebovirus and transmitted to humans by peridomestic sandflies {Phlebotomus papatasii) in countries around the Mediterranean Sea and eastward to central Asia and India. The indigenous people are usually immune as a result of childhood infection; however, travelers are at risk, and epidemics have occurred in armies throughout history. A second focus occurs in Central and South America where forest-dwelling phlebotomines of the genus Lutzomyia are the vectors. No vertebrate host other than man has been definitely incriminated, but gerbils are the principal suspects in Europe and Asia and forest rodents in South America. The virus also persists in phlebotomines by tran-sovarial and transstadial transmission. The human disease is a self-limiting dengue-like syndrome marked by fever, headache, myalgia, retroorbital pain, conjunctivitis, and leukopenia. Genetic reassortment between closely related viruses has been shown to occur in nature.

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