This will be the second time ever that humanity has eradicated a disease. The last and only other time was with smallpox.
In the 1980s there were more than 3 million cases of Guinea worm disease each year. Now, there are only 2 confirmed cases and 2 suspected cases.
I’d like the last Guinea worm to die before I do – Jimmy Carter
The Carter Center in Atlanta (named after the former president Jimmy Carter) has been devoted to the cause and has been quite successful.
Their efforts have centered around educating governments and the public about how to prevent transmission, and how to control suspected cases.
Hopefully the world can rejoice that one more human threat has been permanently defeated. Thank you Jimmy Carter and thank you science!
Don’t read this if you don’t want the ugly details: The disease is spread by drinking infected water. Larva will develop into a worm within a human host and after about a year, the worm will try to painfully exit through the skin. During this process it will spread larva into any body of water, thereby infecting others. The disease was endemic to Africa, the Middle East and Pakistan. Thank goodness the disease is almost gone for good!