This is a parasitic disease which is also known as river blindness. In this condition, infected blackflies that breed in rapidly flowing rivers and streams can come to create embryonic larvae which can affect the skin and other organs of the body. The main symptoms include inflammation and skin lesions.
HOW IS ONCHOCERCIASIS DIAGNOSED?
The bumps on the skin are usually caused by adult worms or larvae under the skin and therefore a skin biopsy would help diagnose this disease. A physical examination of the eye by the ophthalmologist would show the larvae.
HOW IS ONCHOCERCIASIS TREATED?
Ivermectin is the drug that is used to treat the infected people and is administered every six to twelve months. The treatment kills the larva but not the adult worms. Doxycycline is given to weaken the adult worms in the body. The lumps under the skin may need a surgical removal.
DID YOU KNOW?
There is no vaccination to prevent the disease. Insect repellents and proper clothing should be used in areas that are known for the presence of the black flies.