Director of the National Center for Disease Control in Sirte, Mohamed Hamouda, confirmed the registration of more than 65 cases of the skin disease, "leishmaniasis" in the outskirts of the city.

Hamouda clarified in a press statement on Monday that the cases were recorded in the areas of Abungim, Al-qaddahiya, Zamzam and Abu Qrin, noting that the cases are being treated at the Leishmania treatment unit in the village hospital of Zamzam.

He also pointed out that several cases have recovered completely, while others were transferred to hospitals in Misurata and Tripoli to follow up their treatment.

Hamouda pointed to the lack of antibiotics and drugs used for the treatment of this disease in health facilities, although they are available in private pharmacies at very high prices.

In November, the WHO announced the registration of more than 200 cases of leishmaniasis in the city of Tawergha. The WHO sent an emergency medical team consisting of two dermatologists, a paediatrician, a gynaecologist and an internist to treat the epidemic and reduce its spread, stressing that the team had started working on November 20.

The leishmaniasis disease is transmitted by a sand fly bite, a very small yellow insect, not more than one-third the size of a normal mosquito, and usually inhabits agricultural and rural areas.

Skin leishmaniasis is an endemic disease to many parts of the world.

Its proliferation is closely linked to geographical distribution where it can spread among different geographical regions at different rates extending to villages 15 miles away from the area infected.