Trend of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis in Jordan, 2010- 2016

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Middle East countries are endemic for cutaneous leishmaniasis, with countries like Syria having a very high incidence. However, data on the epidemiology of cutaneous leishmaniasis in Jordan are scarce. This study aimed to assess the trend in the incidence of cutaneous leishmaniasis in Jordan from 2010 to 2016 and to explore the effect of excessive entry of Syrian refugees on the incidence of cutaneous leishmaniasis in Jordan during the same study period.

This retrospective study included all cases of cutaneous leishmaniasis that met the case definition and had been reported to the Leishmaniasis Surveillance System in Communicable Diseases Department at Jordan Ministry of Health during the period 2010-2016.

A total of 1243 cases (60.7% males and 39.3% females) were diagnosed during the study period. Half of them were from the southern region and almost half had head lesions. About 19.1% of patients aged <5 years, 37% aged 5-14 year, 15.6% aged 15-24 year and 28.2% aged ≥25. Of those, 52% were Jordanians and 44.9% were Syrians. The average annual incidence rate was 1.7 per 100000 populations during the period 2010-2013. In the period of 2014-2016 when Syrian refugees entered the country excessively, the average incidence rate increased to 3.0 per 100000 populations. After 2012, the incidence rate increased significantly among Syrian refugees from 1 per 100000 in 2012 to 12 per 100000 in 2016. On the other hand, the incidence rate did not change significantly among Jordanians

The incidence rate of leishmaniasis in Jordan increased in the last three years because of the influxes of Syrian refugees to Jordan. Massive efforts on the reservoir and vector control along with actively pursuing diagnosis in endemic foci are essential.

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