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River Blindness

River Blindness Causes

This is caused by the Onchocerca volvulus, a nematode that can live for up to fifteen years in the human body. This is acquired through the bite of a black fly. The worms acquired from the bite of the fly then spreads to the body and when it dies they cause severe itching and strong immune system response that can destroy nearby tissue like the eye.

River Blindness Definition

The medical term for this condition is Onchocerciasis which is the world's second most leading infectious cause of blindness. Basically it is a skin and eye infection which is caused by the helmith (worm) Onchocerca volvulus. The black fly that carries the worm is only seen in parts of Africa, South America and Middle East.

River Blindness Diagnosis

Direct visualization of the larvae emerging from superficial skin biopsies is performed. In some instances directly observing the microfilariae using a slit lamp when transferring into the anterior chamber of the eye is done.

River Blindness Symptoms and Signs

Here are some known symptoms of river blindness: Extreme itching Nodules in the skin Hives-like rash Limbs are swelling Spotty skin Wrinkled and toughed skin Groin lymph nodes are enlarged Eyes are itchy and red Cataracts Vision is blurred or unclear

River Blindness Treatment

Anti-helminth medication - ivermectin Oral prednisolone to be taken for 2-3 days if severe allergic reaction occurs

Drugs used for treatment of River Blindness


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