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NPR Examines Guinea Worm Eradication Efforts

“[A] report Thursday puts a parasitic worm ahead of polio in the race to extinction,” NPR’s “Shots” blog reports. “The world recorded just 89 cases of Guinea worm in the first six months of 2013, the [CDC] said in the journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. That’s a 77 percent reduction in cases over the same period last year,” the blog writes, examining efforts to eradicate the parasite. “[I]n 1986, more than 3.5 million people got infected with Guinea worm each year,” but “[a] campaign led by the Carter Center has slashed the number of cases in the past decade” to about 1,000 cases worldwide in 2011, and 542 cases in 2012, according to the blog. “If 2013 follows the trend, then the prevalence of the disease will reach an all-time low,” the blog notes, adding, “The worm is now endemic in just four countries: Chad, Ethiopia, Mali and South Sudan” (Doucleff, 10/24).