Who knows if Corona was not “given to us” -to the Western world-[just one reason] to realize more that there are also poor countries where the rest of the world is hardly interested in [I agree, we can’t be busy whole days with what is far from our bed, but still….] Onchocerciasis is not limited to Africa by the way.[see map attachment] Ivermectin -hardly known before -has now reached all the end of our globe!
Because I have sent you so many articles about ivermectin I am sending you a very simplified but clear description about what “river blindness” is and how ivermectin had been an absolute blessing for the treatment of onchocerciasis.[ from the book of David Werner]
Where There Is No Doctor 2011 [by buying the book which has a lot of simple information which even can be used by doctors!! you may support poor countries] I would make it an obligation for medical students to study this book as part of their curriculum if I was in the MOH]
RIVER BLINDNESS (ONCHOCERCIASIS)
This disease is common in many parts of Africa and certain
areas of southern Mexico, Central America, and northern South
America. The infection is caused by tiny worms that are carried
from person to person by small, hump backed flies or gnats
known as black flies (simulids).
The worms are ‘injected’ into a person when an infected
black fly bites him.
Dark green leafy vegetables, and yellow or orange fruits
and vegetables, help prevent blindness in children.
• If the disease is not treated, the skin gradually becomes more wrinkled, like an old
man’s. White spots and patches may appear on the front of the lower legs. A dry
rash may appear on the lower limbs and trunk.
• Eye problems often lead to blindness. First there may be redness and tears, then
signs of iritis (p. 221). The cornea becomes dull and pitted as in xerophthalmia
(p. 226). Finally, sight is lost because of corneal scarring, cataract, glaucoma, or
Treatment of river blindness:
Early treatment can prevent blindness. In areas where river blindness is known to
occur, seek medical testing and treatment when the first signs appear.
♦ Ivermectin (Mectizan) is the best medicine for river blindness, and it may be
available at no cost through your local health department. Diethylcarbamazine and
suramin are other medicines used to treat river blindness, but these can sometimes
do more harm than good, especially when eye damage has already begun. They
should only be given by experienced health workers. For dosage and precautions
on all these medicines, see p. 377.
♦ Antihistamines help reduce itching (p. 385).
♦ Early surgical removal of the lumps lowers the number of worms.
♦ Black flies breed in fast-running water. Clearing brush and vegetation back from the
banks of fast-running streams may help reduce the number.
♦ Avoid sleeping out-of-doors—especially in the daytime, which is when the flies
♦ Cooperate with programs for the control of black flies.
♦ Early treatment prevents blindness and reduces spread of the disease.
Signs of river blindness:
• Several months after a black fly bites and the
worms enter the body, lumps begin to form
under the skin. In the Americas the lumps are
most common on the head and upper body; in
Africa on the chest, the lower body, and thighs.
Often there are no more than 3 to 6 lumps. They
grow slowly to a size of 2 to 3 cm. across. They
are usually painless.
• There may be itching when the baby worms are
• Pains in the back, shoulder or hip joints, or
‘general pains all over’.
• Enlargement of the lymph nodes in the groin.
• Thickening of the skin on the back or belly, with
big pores like the skin of an orange. To see this,
look at the skin with light shining across it from