South Sudan stops spread of guinea worm disease

March 21, 2018 - 10:37 am

ATLANTA (AP) — South Sudan's health ministry says the country has gone 15 months without a single reported case of Guinea worm disease, suggesting a major victory for global health officials trying to eliminate the debilitating affliction.

Also, the Carter Center said Wednesday only 30 cases were reported last year in isolated areas of Ethiopia and Chad. That's a real achievement for efforts to eradicate a disease that only 30 years ago affected more than 3 million people in 21 countries across Africa and Asia.

Guinea worms spread in contaminated drinking water, and incubate in people for up to a year, growing to 3-feet (a meter) long before painfully emerging.

South Sudan's feat is being touted as a rare success for the young nation, which is in the fifth year of a civil war.

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