allAfrica.com: East Africa: In a First for East Africa ...

5 downloads 0 Views 225KB Size Report
Oct 9, 2013 - East Africa," said lead author Tarig Higazi, PhD, of Ohio University's Zanesville campus and Tropical Diseases. Institute. "While previous ...

allAfrica.com: East Africa: In a First for East Africa, Scientists Find …ness) May Be Eliminated After 14 Years of Long-Term Mass Drug Treatment

10/9/13 12:13 PM

American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (Deerfield, IL)

East Africa: In a First for East Africa, Scientists Find Evidence That Onchocerciasis (River Blindness) May Be Eliminated After 14 Years of Long-Term Mass Drug Treatment 20 MAY 2013

PRESS RELEASE New research provides the first evidence in East Africa that long-term community-based drug treatment alone can interrupt transmission of onchocerciasis, a parasitic disease commonly known as river blindness. The study finds that after eight years (beginning in 1998) of treating residents annually with the anti-worming medicine ivermectin, followed by six years of semi-annual treatment with the drug, there is no evidence of the disease or its transmission in or around the Nile River town of Abu Hamed in Northern Sudan. "This is the first report of elimination in a major isolated area and a big step toward eliminating river blindness in East Africa," said lead author Tarig Higazi, PhD, of Ohio University's Zanesville campus and Tropical Diseases Institute. "While previous studies have demonstrated that long-term annual or semiannual mass treatment with ivermectin have eliminated the disease in the Americas and West African nations of Mali and Senegal, these data show that we are further shrinking its reach by interrupting transmission and eliminating the disease in the northernmost endemic area of the world."

Photo: M. Katabarwa/The Carter Center

Black fly larva (file photo).

Higazi and his colleagues at The Carter Center and the Sudan Ministry of Health found during their assessment in 2011 that there were no signs of skin disease in 536 Abu Hamed residents, no evidence of parasite DNA in the more than 17,500 black flies collected, and no evidence of disease exposure in more than 6,700 school children who are considered sentinels for disease infection. The assessment met the World Health Organization (WHO) criteria for declaring disease transmission interrupted. Mass treatment was halted in 2012, and the WHO is expected to declare river blindness eliminated in 2015 in this area, once three years of post-treatment surveillance are completed. According to the WHO, more than 18 million people worldwide are infected with onchocerciasis, with nearly 99 percent of those cases in Africa. The parasitic disease - which can cause severe skin ailments, debilitating itching, and blindness - is transmitted by black flies (genus Simulium) that breed in fastmoving rivers or streams. When a fly bites a human, it deposits larvae that mature into adult worms in the body. Ivermectin is effective at stemming the worm infestation and reducing the severity of the infection.

Opioid Dependence Doctors TurnToHelp.com

Find a doctor who can prescribe a private, in-office treatment.

Copyright © 2013 American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here. AllAfrica aggregates and indexes content from over 130 African news organizations, plus more than 200 other sources, who are responsible for their own reporting and views. Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica.

AllAfrica is a voice of, by and about Africa - aggregating, producing and distributing 2000 news and information items daily from over 130 African news organizations and our own reporters to an African and global public. We operate from Cape Town, Dakar, Lagos, Monrovia, Nairobi and Washington DC. © 2013 AllAfrica // Privacy // Contact AllAfrica - All the Time

http://allafrica.com/stories/201305211614.html

Page 1 of 1