February 4th, 2013

With river blindness, ‘you never sleep’

By Logan Lafferty

The machete blades turned red with heat in the fire that the rubber workers built on a Liberia plantation, Thomas Unnasch remembers from a visit in the 1980s. This was how the men tried to quell the intense itchiness that comes with river blindness, a rare tropical disease…There is no vaccine for river blindness, but there is a drug, called ivermectin that paralyzes and kills the offspring of adult worms, according to the Mayo Clinic. It may also slow the reproduction of adult female worms, so there are fewer of them in the skin, blood and eyes.

 

CNN by Elizabeth Landau

Tags: CNN, Immunology, Infectious Diseases, ivermectin, Liberia, river blindness

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