Countdown to Zero: River Blindness
by AMNH on
Disease agent: Onchocerca volvulus worms
The threat: Occurs mainly in tropical areas; more than 99 percent of infected people live in sub-Saharan Africa.
How infection spreads: Through the bites of black flies. Worms reproduce under the skin, producing thousands of offspring that inflame the skin and cause blindness.
Defeating the disease: Drug treatment is critical; killing fly larvae in their breeding places also helps interrupt transmission.
Eradication potential: Successful elimination efforts in Latin America offer models for tackling the disease in sub-Saharan Africa.
What does it take to wipe out a disease? Find out in the new exhibition Countdown to Zero: Defeating Disease, which opens on Tuesday, January 13.
The full story appears in the Winter issue of Rotunda, the Member magazine.