Last week in @CDCMMWR: #GuineaWorm eradication

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Dracunculiasis (commonly known as Guinea worm) is by far the most likely candidate for the second disease mankind will succeed in eradicating from the earth. (The first, and only, one so far is smallpox.) Last week's edition of MMWR featured a progress report on eradicating Guinea worm, describing progress in the last 18 months after some setbacks in 2016:
The number of human dracunculiasis cases reported worldwide during 2016 increased to 25 cases in three countries in 2016 from 22 cases in four countries in 2015. However, during January–June 2017, the number of cases reported decreased from 10 cases in three countries during the same period in 2016, to eight, all in Chad. The number of infected domestic dogs doubled from 503 in 2015 to 1,011 in 2016, but declined to 537 during January–June 2017 compared with 653 during the same period of 2016.
Aside from infected dogs, the most significant barriers to eradication are "civil unrest and insecurity in Mali and South Sudan." Somebody please get them to quit fighting over there so I am no longer subjected to images of a Guinea worm coming out of some poor bastard's lower leg in my e-mails from MMWR.

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