The Long and Winding Worm, 1986-2018

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Bill Brieger is currently a Professor in the Health Systems Program of the Department of International Health at Johns Hopkins University as well as the Senior Malaria Adviser for JHPIEGO, JHU’s family and reproductive health affiliate. He blogs at malariamatters.org

Recent reports draw attention that Guinea Worm persisted in small numbers in 2017 in two countries, Chad and Ethiopia. Mali and South Sudan were the only other two countries monitored because of recent cases, but each reported none for 2017. Guinea Worm Wrap-Up #251 We recall that 32 and 23 years have passed since the challenge to eradicate the disease was posed and the hoped for date of eradication was to be achieved. There is no doubt that the 30 cases reported in 2017 is a gigantic drop from the 3.5 million estimated globally when the war on the worm started in 1986. To date eradication has been achieved for only small pox (though its reemergence from labs as a potential biological war agent is feared)

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The Long and Winding Worm, 1986-2018