Could This Middle Eastern Outbreak Come to Our Shores?

A new threat is on the rise in areas controlled by ISIS.

The ongoing conflict and a complete breakdown of the health care industry in that region have led to a massive outbreak of a flesh-eating disease.

The disease has existed in Syria for centuries, but it’s always been limited to two regions—Damascus and Aleppo. With current conditions in the area, it’s spreading, carried by refugees into other nations. Lebanon had six cases of the disease in the past 12 years. But now, cases number in the thousands every year. The disease has also spread into Syria and Jordon. Yemen, too.

Health officials are quick to assure us that the disease will not spread to Europe or the United States. But as the refugee crisis continues, that seems like an uncertain promise made more to keep people calm than anything else.

This disease known as Cutaneous leishmaniasis leads to painful, often disfiguring open sores across the face and body. Learn more about the outbreak and its spread here.