In recent years leishmaniasis has become a serious Public Health problem in Italy. The coexistence of infected dogs, vectors and humans, makes urban areas suitable environment for the spread of this zoonotic disease. With the purpose to improve the current system for the control of leishmaniasis in urban areas, the authors report their experiences carrying out a Health Information System (HIS) for the surveillance of the disease in the city of Messina. The HIS project is built on a dataset containing geographical data on urban environment, census tracts at parish level and data of human and canine leishmaniasis cases reported in the last years. The HIS allows the spatial representation of the disease occurrence and can be used as a novel epidemiological tool to perform area-based surveillance.
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