Background Coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) has dominated global health conversations within a short period of time. It can seem as if the hugely significant burden of infectious diseases, including visceral leishmaniasis, are no longer a public health issue. We discuss in this case the clinical and public health implications of COVID-19 and Leishmania donovani co-infection.
Case presentation An 18 years old male patient from Northwest Ethiopia diagnosed with COVID-19 and concomitant visceral leishmaniasis that ended in a fatal outcome. The rK39 rapid diagnostic test was positive, and the Giemsa stained bone marrow smears and culture confirmed the leishmanial infection.
Conclusion This young man’s case demonstrated that the diagnosis and management of visceral leishmaniasis can be challenging in times of this pandemic. It is of crucial importance that clinicians have a high index of suspicion for a combination of COVID-19 and visceral leishmaniasis in endemic areas.