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Guinea worm eradication effort enters ‘most difficult’ phase

By ALEX SANZ

 

The Carter Center said Tuesday that only 13 human cases of Guinea worm disease were reported worldwide last year.

After decades of progress, the eradication program’s director cautioned the end phase of the global effort to eradicate the parasitic disease will be “the most difficult.”

The Atlanta-based center, founded by former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Eleanor Rosalynn Carter, said the remaining infections occurred in four countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Six human cases were reported in Chad, five in South Sudan, one in Ethiopia and one in the Central African Republic, which remains under investigation.

That’s a significant drop from when former President Carter began leading the global eradication effort in 1986, when the disease infected 3.5 million people.

The figures, which are provisional, are expected to be confirmed in the coming months.

 

 

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