Some Clinical Aspects of Onchocerciasis in Liberia

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  • Liberian Institute of the American Foundation for Tropical Medicine and Firestone Health Services, Harbel, Liberia

Summary

Clinical and laboratory studies were carried out on 125 adults (81 males and 44 females) chosen at random and living in an area in which onchocerciasis was endemic. Special attention was given to skin changes, signs of eye pathology and the occurrence of miscarriage or abortion in the females and hydrocele in the males. Positive diagnoses were made by examination of 14 scarification smears from each subject and by palpation for onchocercomata.

Overall infection rate for O. volvulus was 69 per cent and in the group 40 years and older it was 100 per cent. Specific skin changes were found in 14 per cent of the infected subjects. No ocular pathology attributable to onchocerciasis was seen. There was no evidence to suggest that in Liberia onchocerciasis was responsible for an increased rate of miscarriages or abortions or that it was a factor in hydrocele production in the male.

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