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SYMPOSIUM
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 151-155

River blindness: An old disease on the brink of elimination and control


1 Casey Eye Institute, Division of International Ophthalmology, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA
2 Pan American Health Organization, Santa Fe de Bogotá DC, Colombia, USA
3 Director for Advocacy, International Council of Ophthalmology, Geneva, Switzerland; Co-chair for Europe, International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, Geneva, Switzerland
4 International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness Latin America Regional Director, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Correspondence Address:
Joao M Furtado
Casey Eye Institute, Division of International Ophthalmology, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-777X.81692

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For decades, onchocerciasis (or river blindness) was one of the most common infectious causes of blindness in the world. Primarily an infection of Africa, with limited distribution in the new world, disease due to the nematode Onchocerca volvulus is rapidly diminishing as a result of large public health campaigns targeting at risk populations in Africa and the Americas. Existing and newly-developed treatment strategies offer the chance to eliminate onchocercal ocular morbidity in some parts of the world. This article reviews these treatment strategies, current clinical and epidemiologic aspects of onchocerciasis, and the next steps toward elimination.


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© 2008 Journal of Global Infectious Diseases | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
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