Progress toward elimination of onchocerciasis in the americas – 1993-2012.


Authors: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Onchocerciasis (river blindness) is caused by the parasitic worm Onchocerca volvulus, transmitted to humans by the bite of infected black flies of the genus Simulium, and is characterized by chronic skin disease, severe itching, and eye lesions that can progress to complete blindness. Currently, among approximately 123 million persons at risk for infection in 38 endemic countries, at least 25.7 million are infected, and 1 million are blinded or have severe visual impairment. Periodic, communitywide mass drug administration (MDA) with ivermectin (Mectizan, Merck) prevents eye and skin disease and might interrupt transmission of the infection, depending on the coverage, duration, and frequency of MDA. The Onchocercias…