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Onchocerciasis River Blindness

The CDC launched the Onchocerciasis Elimination Program of the Americas in 1992. The program has successfully stopped the disease’s transmission in all but two of the six original endemic countries in Latin America. In 2010, Columbia became the first country in the Americas to eliminate river blindness. Mexico and Guatemala followed in 2014 and 2016. The CDC recommends that people in these regions consider onchocerciasis as a priority disease to prevent and treat.

Most people with onchocerciasis live in the tropics

Most people infected with onchocerciasis live in tropical areas. It is transmitted by a variety of insects and is prevalent in countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, it can also be transmitted from one country to another by infected blackflies. In most cases, infection will go undetected for a year. A mild case will not have any symptoms. Onchocerciasis also causes a number of other symptoms, including skin rashes, inflammation of the eyes, headaches, and fever.

Remarks

The best way to prevent the spread of the disease is to reduce the risk of exposure. To prevent onchocerciasis, individuals should avoid contact with blackflies and sand. If infected, they should wash their clothes and avoid rubbing their eyes. Although onchocerciasis is treatable, the infection may recur. The symptoms of onchocerciasis can be disabling and can cause permanent damage.

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