Kala azar is the second largest parasitic killer in the world - only Malaria is more deadly. Along with Chagas disease and sleeping sickness, kala azar is one of the most dangerous neglected tropical diseases.
Kala azar is endemic in 47 countries with approximately 200 million people at risk of infection. The parasite is spread to humans by bites from infected female sand flies. It attacks the immune system, and is almost always fatal if not treated. There are around half a million new cases a year, about 90 percent of which are in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sudan and Brazil. Being India the most affected country by in the world, with Bihar state the epicenter of the disease.