According to reports in London’s Daily Mirror, Islamic State fighters (ISIS) are losing a battle to a pesky, miniscule enemy — a sand fly. The ISIS fighters are being plagued with a flesh-eating disease that can cause sores all over a person’s body.
Called Leishmaniasis, it is spread by biting sand flies which pass on a parasite that causes the infection. Left untreated it can result in death. It is estimated between 20,000 to 50,000 people die each year from the disease.
In addition to large gaping wounds, Leishmaniasis can cause a fever and enlarged liver and spleen. It can also make a person anemic.
The painful sores start appearing weeks or even months after the person was infected and can equally take months to heal, often leaving behind disfiguring scars. Once a person has the disease, without proper hygiene, it is easily transferred to others.
However, the disease is also treatable in its early stages.
The center of the outbreak was Raqqa, Syria and when it started, Doctors without Borders tried to contain it, but were forced out of the city when ISIS took it over. The medical staff left in the city are not properly trained or equipped to handle the disease.
Then once ISIS moved into Raqqa it brought in Sharia law that conflicted with common medical practices. For example, ISIS recently told doctors not to deliver children through Caesarian sections which the terrorist group considers un-Islamic.
As a result, many of the ISIS fighters are refusing treatment and because of this and poor hygiene, the disease rapidly spread out from Raqqa. It is estimated 100,000 people have now been infected.
Curiously, in his end times vision, the Apostle John speaks of a curse of sores coming on those persecuting the Christians.
So the first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth; and it became a loathsome and malignant sore on the people. (Revelation 16:2 NASV)
It is uncertain if we are living in the time prophesied by John or if Leishmaniasis fits this particular plague.