Kozhikode, July 26: Just a couple of months after the Nipah outbreak in Kozhikode, a man at Sooppikkada in Changaroth grama panchayat of the district has been diagnosed with kala-azar or leishmaniasis, said a report in a leading English daily on Thursday. A disease caused by leishmania parasites, it is spread by the bite of sandflies. (Also read: Fruit Bats Caused Nipah)

Health activists have collected samples of sandflies from the area. Sources said detailed entomological tests would be conducted soon. District Medical Officer V. Jayashree told The Hindu that that was the solitary case reported. She added that insecticides would be sprayed once the lab results were out. In a disease that may erupt even months after a person is bitten by the infected sandflies, skin ulcers are the main symptoms.

An awareness session will be held in the village panchayat on July 30. Sources said the 42-year-old man had been under treatment at a private hospital in Kochi for fever. Leishmaniasis was diagnosed after detailed tests.

Meanwhile, the nipah outbreak had taken 17 lives in the state, out of which 16 were lab-confirmed cases, and no patient tested positive for the infection from other states, Parliament was told on Wednesday. Minister of State for Health Anupriya Patel also informed the Rajya Sabha that the Health Ministry had taken necessary steps to ensure that the Nipah virus did not spread to other parts of the country. The total number of deaths caused by the virus in Kerala was 17 out of which 16 were lab-confirmed cases, she said.