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Selected Category: neglected tropical diseases (NTDs)

April 7 is World Health Day

Categories: child health, infectious disease, malaria, mosquito-borne disease, neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), parasitic diseases


April 7 marks World Health Day. This year World Health Day focuses on vector-borne diseases. More than half the world is at risk from vector-borne diseases. What exactly is a vector? A vector is a small organism, like a tick or mosquito, that transmits disease. Malaria, dengue, Chagas Disease and lymphatic filariasis are just four examples of vector-borne infectious diseases.   

Come learn about some of these vector-borne diseases and the work that CDC does to prevent, treat, and control these diseases around the world.    

Haiti is Saying Goodbye to Lymphatic Filariasis, In Spite of Earthquake

Categories: child health, mosquito-borne disease, neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), parasitic diseases


Valery E. Madsen Beau De Rochars, MD, MPH

Our teams gave a two-medicine dose to Haitians in our capital city, Port-au-Prince—but most people had no water to swallow the pills. How would we overcome the ongoing cholera outbreak and displacement from the 2010 earthquake to finally rid Haiti of the horribly disfiguring and painful disease called lymphatic filariasis

Lymphatic filariasis, sometimes known as elephantiasis, is delivered by mosquitoes infected by young, blood-born parasites. The worms lodge in a person’s lymph nodes, causing fluid to pool in their legs and testicles, forcing them to swell dramatically. 

Humans are the only known host for the parasite in Haiti, which means it’s an ideal infectious disease to eliminate. Once we eliminate it from people, it can’t be brought back by animals carrying the parasite, which is the case for many infectious diseases. 

Plight to Save Sight: Eliminating the Scourge of River Blindness

Categories: neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), parasitic diseases

Paul T. Cantey, MD, MPH CDR US Public Health Service

Onchocerciasis, also known as River Blindness, is a neglected tropical disease that causes tremendous disability and suffering for individuals in some of the poorest communities on the planet. It is caused by the tiny parasitic worm Onchocerca volvulus, which is transmitted by the Simulium blackfly. The name River Blindness is derived from the fact that the illness is most intensely transmitted to persons along rivers near fast moving water and the parasitic worm it transmits can cause blindness. In addition to causing blindness by invading the eye, the worm can cause debilitating skin disease—called troublesome itch— that can keep people awake at night, result in skin infections, and reduce the ability to support oneself. More than 100 million people are at risk for River Blindness and more than 30 million are infected with the parasite. Working as a medical epidemiologist at CDC, I am privileged to be among the many global health partners who are striving to eliminate onchocerciasis and the pain and suffering it causes for good. The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
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