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Carter Center and CDC Hangout on River Blindness in the Americas

Carter Center and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) experts discuss the latest updates on the campaign to wipe out a debilitating parasitic disease, river blindness (onchocerciasis) from the Western Hemisphere via Google+ Hangout On Air.

Participants include:

*Dr. Mark Eberhard, senior microbiologist, CDC Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria
*Dr. Frank Richards, director, Carter Center River Blindness Program
*Dr. Mauricio Sauerbrey, director, the Carter Center's Onchocerciasis Elimination Program of the Americas

Working through its Onchocerciasis Elimination Program of the Americas (OEPA), The Carter Center supports national efforts among the six endemic countries — Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Guatemala, Venezuela, and Brazil — to successfully interrupt transmission of river blindness, through health education and mass Mectizan® (ivermectin, donated by Merck) distribution.

Today, the region's historic elimination campaign nearly has halted disease transmission in 11 of 13 endemic areas. In addition, there have been no new reports of blindness caused by the disease. Efforts concentrate now on the remaining area of disease transmission in the Amazon rainforest on the Brazil-Venezuela border.

Onchocerciasis Elimination Program of the Americas: http://cartercenter.org/health/river_blindness/oepa.html

River Blindness Program: http://cartercenter.org/health/river_blindness/index.html

Founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter in partnership with Emory University, The Carter Center is committed to advancing human rights and alleviating unnecessary human suffering. The Center wages peace, fights disease, and builds hope worldwide.

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