Millions of people suffer from river blindness. Ivermectin is an effective treatment for river blindness, but there are some serious risks associated with co-infection. In some cases, treatment can even cause potentially life-threatening complications. This is why new tools are needed to properly diagnose and treat this disease. The next step in river blindness treatment is to develop new drugs that are effective against the parasite.
what is river blindness
River blindness is an infection caused by a parasite. It can cause blindness in humans and can occur in areas where people depend on the rivers and water to survive. People in these areas often use the rivers to fish or for washing and collecting water. The infection can be transmitted from one person to another by black flies. There is currently no preventative medication or vaccine for river blindness. However, it can be prevented with certain precautions.
The disease is widespread in sub-Saharan Africa, and it is the second leading cause of infectious blindness in the world. It is considered a neglected tropical disease by the World Health Organization and is estimated to affect over one billion people worldwide. The WHO has set a goal of eradicating the disease in 12 countries by 2030.
What is night blindness?
Night blindness occurs when the retina is damaged or a disease has affected the cells that enable the eye to perceive light. The cells are divided into two groups: rods and cones. The rods are responsible for vision in dim light while the cones are responsible for vision in bright light. This disease can result in difficulty seeing in dim light, which can prevent people from enjoying nightlife.
Some causes of night blindness are treatable. In such cases, an eye doctor will conduct a series of tests to identify the underlying cause and determine the proper treatment. Some of the tests may involve blood tests to check for low or unstable glucose levels, which can be signs of diabetes.
Ivermectin cured river blindness
Ivermectin is a drug that kills larvae and mature worms. It must be taken for six months to be effective. Although it has the potential to cure river blindness, it is not a long-term treatment. (Ivermectin) Ivecop drug was first approved for human use against river blindness in 1987. It is effective against both humans and animals.
This drug is given to patients as tablets and is usually given once a year. It has several side effects. Some have been reported by the patients. One such side effect is severe postural hypotension. The drug is also associated with an increased risk of sclerosing keratitis.
Is river blindness contagious?
The first step in treating river blindness is preventing new infections from happening. To do this, countries must eliminate the black fly as the primary vector of the parasite. Without blackflies, the parasite cannot survive and spread in a community. To do this, countries can spray insecticides on the blackflies. This will disrupt the life cycle of the parasite and prevent any new infections.
Infection with the parasite causes skin complications first, which then spread to other organs. This skin condition affects one’s quality of life, affects their mental health, prevents them from sleeping, and can lead to social stigma. Once the infection progresses to the eye, the parasite can inflict extensive damage.
River blindness prevention
River blindness prevention is crucial to ending the misery that comes with this disease. The worms and their larvae are very long-lived and can survive for 15 years or more. They produce thousands of microscopic larvae, called microfilariae, each day. If these larvae get in the eyes, they cause itching, irritation, and even vision loss. In some cases, people are forced to leave their homes because of river blindness and become utterly impoverished.
River blindness is caused by the parasitic worm Onchocerca volvulus. This parasite lives in the body of people and animals and is spread by black flies. The larvae enter the skin through bite wounds and grow inside the skin. They live for over 10 years in the human body.