Sandfly fever, also known as pappataci fever, phlebotomus fever, or three-day fever, is an acute viral disease caused by sandfly fever virus transmitted by sandflies, and is characterized by fever, headache, myalgia, conjunctival hyperemia, and leukopenia, with good prognosis.


Sandfly fever virus enters the human body through bites of sandflies, and reaches the reticuloendothelial system through lymphatic vessels and capillaries. After reproduction, viruses enter the blood circulation, causing viremia, leading to systemic diseases, with or without invasion of central nervous system.

Signs and Symptoms

Sandflies pierce the skin and suck blood of persons and animals. After bites, some persons may have no reaction, some persons have mild to severe pruritus, and some persons develop local red papules, wheals, small nodules, erosion, and blisters, leaving pigmentation after healing. If Leishman-Donovan body (LD body) in vivo is present in sandflies, leishmaniasis and cutaneous leishmaniasis may occur after bites.

A small pruritic papule occurs in the bite area and lasts for about 5 days. After another 5 days of incubation period, patients present suddenly symptoms such as headache, fatigue, nausea, conjunctival hyperemia, neck stiffness, and abdominal pain, as well as scarlet fever-like rash in the face and neck, with slow recovery, gradually subsiding after repeated fever.


On the basis of clinical presentations, results of viral isolation and serologic examination, a diagnosis can be provided.


Symptomatic treatment and supportive treatment are appropriate.


Mosquito repellent can be used to prevent bites from mosquitoes.

Insecticides can be applied to eliminate sandflies.