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What is Black fever?

Black fever (visceral leishmaniasis) is a slowly progressing, highly contagious chronic disease, which is characterized by recurrent and irregular fever, significant weight loss, swelling of the liver and spleen, and anaemia. It is transmitted through the bite of infected female sand-flies (phlebotomine).

What are its main signs and symptoms?

There are several forms of leishmaniasis based on the organ that is affected. Most common types are of the skin and visceral (affecting the liver and spleen). The signs and symptoms of black fever include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Pallor and substantial weight loss
  • Weakness
  • Fever
  • Skin – becomes dry, thin and scaly
  • Anaemia
  • Splenomegaly – Enlargement of the spleen, usually soft and non-tender.
  • Liver – enlargement- soft, smooth surface, sharp edge

What are the main causes?

Black azar is a disease that spreads through vector-infected sand flies (Female Phlebotomus argentipes). The infected fly transmits the parasite called Leishmania into the bloodstream which produces the symptoms.

How is it diagnosed and treated?

There are 2 approaches for the diagnosis of black azar

  • Symptomatic: The symptoms mentioned above are closely diagnosed and monitored.
  • Laboratory: this includes serological tests to look for antibodies produced against the parasite and parasite demonstration in bone marrow/spleen/lymph node  tissue sample collected via a biopsy or in culture medium. This is considered as confirmatory diagnosis.

Anti-parasite drugs can help to kill the parasite in the patient’s body. First oral medication against black fever is miltefosine. It is 95% effective in patients. Vaccines or preventive drugs for black fever are not available so precautions should be taken when in endemic areas like sub-Saharan countries, Asia, southern Europe and America.

Self-care includes wearing full sleeved shirts and pants while travelling to these endemic areas. Use insect repellent sprays and avoid stepping outdoors during evening and night when the sand flies are most active.

  1. Medicines for Kala Azar (Black Fever, Visceral Leishmaniasis)
  2. Doctors for Kala Azar (Black Fever, Visceral Leishmaniasis)
Dr. Neha Gupta

Dr. Neha Gupta

संक्रामक रोग

Dr. Jogya Bori

Dr. Jogya Bori

संक्रामक रोग

Dr. Lalit Shishara

Dr. Lalit Shishara

संक्रामक रोग

Medicines for Kala Azar (Black Fever, Visceral Leishmaniasis)

Medicines listed below are available for Kala Azar (Black Fever, Visceral Leishmaniasis). Please note that you should not take any medicines without doctor consultation. Taking any medicine without doctor's consultation can cause serious problems.

Medicine NamePack SizePrice (Rs.)
Amfy VAmfy V 1 Mg Gel171
ImpavidoImpavido 50 Mg Capsule0
Sodium StibogluconateSodium Stibogluconate Injection199
AmphojectAmphoject 50 Mg Injection5713
StibanateStibanate 100 Mg Injection163
AmphotretAmphotret 50 Mg Injection236
EnvocinEnvocin 50 Mg Injection6320
FungizoneFungizone 50 Mg Injection236
LambinLambin 10 Mg Injection1412
Lambin LyophilisedLambin 50 Mg Injection3825
SporotarSporotar 50 Mg Injection3468
AmfocanAmfocan 50 Mg Injection210
AmfyAMFY 0.1% GEL 15GM184
AmifyAmify 50 Mg Injection2300
Ampho BAmpho B 50 Mg Injection361
AmphocritAmphocrit 50 Mg Injection3749
AmphogardAmphogard 50 Mg Injection3657

Do you or anyone in your family have this disease? Please do a survey and help others


  1. American International Medical University. Kala-azar/ Leishmaniasis : Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Management& Prevention. Saint Lucia [Internet]
  2. World Health Organization [Internet]. Geneva (SUI): World Health Organization; New therapy for "Black fever" is 95% effective.
  3. World Health Organization [Internet]. Geneva (SUI): World Health Organization; Access to essential antileishmanial medicines and treatment.
  4. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: US National Library of Medicine; Leishmaniasis
  5. Center for Disease Control and Prevention [internet], Atlanta (GA): US Department of Health and Human Services; Parasites - Leishmaniasis
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