World Health Organization

Guinea worm, river blindness and elephantiasis are among the world's neglected tropical diseases. A battle is on to wipe them out

Guinea worm, river blindness and elephantiasis are among the world's neglected tropical diseases. A battle is on to wipe them out

One infection known as dracunculiasis can cause people to suffer a burning blister that bursts as a parasite called the Guinea worm breaks through the skin.

Another one, elephantiasis, causes grotesque swelling in limbs. Yet another, known as river blindness, occurs when the larvae of parasitic worms, transmitted by the bite of blackflies, migrate into the eye and cause blindness.

Although those diseases and others with ties to contaminated water or food or insects, such as mosquitoes, are among the ones eliminated from most parts of the world, there are not gone from everywhere. Such illnesses, known as neglected tropical diseases, have typically afflicted the world’s poorest...

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