August 19, 2013 -- While Syrian refugees may indeed face greater risks of contracting communicable diseases, misinformation pertaining to the nature and extent of these illnesses has been rife. “The living conditions of the refugees can obviously trigger and escalate the spread of communicable diseases,” Colin Lee, country director of International Medical Corps, one of the leading health NGOs working with the refugee community, told The Daily Star.
But he also pointed out that “there has been a large amount of misinformation relating to communicable diseases over recent months.”
Such misinformation has ranged from exaggeration to outright fabrication in some cases.
Leishmaniasis, a treatable parasitic skin disease spread by sand flies, has since early 2013 been identified in refugee communities. However, IMC told The Daily Star that the incidence rate for the disease was still below the normal level for the Syrian population.