About Onchocerciasis

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Title Onchocerciasis
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(from Freebase)
Onchocerciasis (pronounced /ˈɒŋkɵsɜrˈsaɪ.əsɨs/ or /ˈɒŋkɵsɜrˈkaɪ.əsɨs/), also known as river blindness and Robles' Disease, is a parasitic disease caused by infection with the nematode Onchocerca volvulus. The parasite is transmitted to humans through the bite of a blackfly of the genus Simulium. The worms spread throughout the body and, when they die, cause intense itching and a strong immune system response that can destroy nearby tissue, such as the eye. Onchocerciasis is the world's second-leading infectious cause of blindness. The vast majority of infections occur in sub-Saharan Africa, although cases have also been reported in Yemen and isolated areas of Central and South America. An estimated 18 million people suffer from onchocerciasis, with approximately 270,000 cases of blindness related to the infection. Evidence suggests that it is not the nematode but its endosymbiont, Wolbachia pipientis, that causes the severe inflammatory response that leaves many blind. Treatment may...
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