Guinea Worm cases fell 50% in 2020, Carter Center Reports


Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of human Guinea worm cases was cut in half to just 27 in 2020, The Carter Center announced.
The 27 human cases of Guinea worm disease across six African countries mark a 50% decline from the number of cases reported in 2019. Guinea worm infections in animals fell 20% in the same period, the Center reported. When The Carter Center established itself as a pioneer in neglected tropical disease elimination by assuming leadership of the global Guinea Worm Eradication Program in 1986, about 3.5 million human cases occurred annually in 21 countries in Africa and Asia.
“The numbers we are seeing are very encouraging,” said Jason Carter, chair of the Center Board of Trustees. “However, the target number is zero a complete, sustained absence of human cases and infections in animals and we will not stop pushing until we get there.”
During 2020, only 12 human cases of Guinea worm disease were reported in Chad, a dramatic 75 percent reduction from 48 the previous year. Eleven cases were reported in Ethiopia, and one each in South Sudan, Angola, Mali, and Cameroon. As for Guinea worm infections in animals, Chad reported 1,570 (1,507 domestic dogs, 61 domestic cats, and two wild cats), Ethiopia reported 15 (eight domestic dogs, three domestic cats, four baboons), and Mali reported eight infected domestic dogs.