The last two or three years have demonstrates that the diseases that affect the earth are changing, and migrating, and increasing the likelihood of new populations becoming infected. The increase in polio cases more than a year ago was a reminder to remain active and avoid certainty or complacency, behaviors further removed by this past year’s measles outbreak in the U.S. Vectored diseases are also in need of more attentiveness, and the fairly commonplace mosquito born disease patterns forming the top of this list.
Mosquito born disease patterns like West Nile and Chikungunya constitute a very small part of this evolutionary process. There are other insect vectored disease in need of increased attention.
Onchocerciasis and filariasis need to be placed high on our re-emerging diseases watch list.
Onchocerciasis was one of the first diseases that WHO designed global health focused preventive health programs. The Onchocerciasis Control Programme in West Africa (OCP) was developed by WHO in 1974. Its efforts focused on the use of widespread aerial spraying tactics of the insecticide ivermectin, hoping to kill most of the blackfly vectors. Forty years later, the world still has a very large number of onchocerciasis cases–42 million approximately.
This high prevalence supports the ecology of the pathogen, host, vector and/or reservoir.
The following are information resources for this disease, and its very common co-disease filariasis.
J. Blanks, F. Richards, F. Beltran, et al. The Onchocerciasis Elimination Program for the Americas: a history of partnership. Rev Panam Salud Publica/Pan Am J Public Health 3(6), 1998 . http://www.cartercenter.org/resources/pdfs/news/health_publications/river_blindness/panamjph-history%20of-oepa.pdf
Training in the management of Onchocerciasis (River Blindness) and Lymphatic Filariasis. From a 2013 Global Health and Disasters Course. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azlDp4M9vTo
Seth Elliott’s Onchocerciasis slide presentation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vda5R6urnXg
Infective larvae ofwuchereria bancrofti (1947, Instructive Military video). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AZ4IlPQehU
WHO. Preparing and Implementing a National Plan to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (in countries where onchocerciasis is co-endemic). WHO/CDS/CPE/CEE/2000.16 .
Examples of related NPHG products (U.S. map videos):
Sickle Cell : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7U9Z91ljRU
Bancroft Filaria : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hgpCdf2W9Q
Malayan Filaria : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3-5NfKrJ-Q
Elephantiasis , IP : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uc6zvqutU3g
Foreign Born Zoonotic Diseases : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWYslHBLzeI
My complete listing of these diseases from the preliminary dissertation work: https://brianaltonenmph.com/gis/global-health-mapping/foreign-disease-intrusion/