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South Sudan stops spread of worm disease

South Sudan stops spread of worm disease
From CBC - March 21, 2018

South Sudan has gone 15 months without a single reported case of Guinea worm disease, the nation's health ministersaid Wednesday, suggesting a major victory for global health officials trying to eliminate the debilitating affliction.

Also, the Carter Center said only 30 cases were reported last year in isolated areas of Ethiopia and Chad. That's a realachievement for efforts to eradicate a disease that only 30 years ago affected 3.5 million people a year in 21 countries across Africa and Asia.

Contracted by drinking infected water, Guinea worm disease affects some of the world's most vulnerable people. The meter-longworm is asymptomatic and incubates in people for up to a year before painfully emerging, often through extremely sensitive parts of the body.

Unlike other diseases that are controlled by medicines or vaccines, Guinea worm can be eradicated through education, by training people to filter and drink clean water.

South Sudan was one of nine countries still affected when its eradication program began in 2006. At the time, the disease wasendemic in more than 3,000 villages, and the country tallied more than 20,500 cases.

@CarterCenter

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