Heightened Surveillance: the key to eradication
The first human parasitic disease to be wiped out
Dracunculiasis is a crippling parasitic disease caused by Dracunculus medinensis, a long thread-like worm. Transmission occurs exclusively by drinking water contaminated with the infective larvae of Cyclops spp.
Dracunculiasis has afflicted humanity for centuries.
The disease affects people in rural, isolated areas who depend on open water sources such as ponds for their livelihoods. It causes agonizing pain and chronic incapacity. As a result, agricultural activities are hampered, and children may suffer economic and nutritional deprivation and reduced school attendance in households whose able family members are affected.
As dracunculiasis approaches eradication, WHO’s priority is heightened surveillance and case containment.
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