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Trachoma

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Trachoma is an infection of the mucous membrane of the eyelids caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis.

It begins as congestion and swelling of the eyelids with tearing and disturbance of vision. The cornea is often involved. If left untreated, scar tissue forms, which causes deformities of the eyelids and, if there is corneal involvement, partial or total blindness.


Trachoma is highly contagious in its early stages and is transmitted by direct contact with infected persons or articles (e.g., towels, handkerchiefs) and possibly also by flies.

Trachoma is the world leading cause of preventable blindness and occurs where people live in overcrowded conditions with the limited access to water and health care. Blinding trachoma is widespread in the Middle East, North and Sub Sahara Africa part of the Indian subcontinent, Southern Asia and China. The WHO estimates that 6 million worldwide are blind due to trachoma and more than 150 million people are in need of treatment.

Click here to learn for more information about waterborne diseases, dimension of the problem, transmission, prevention.

Sources:
http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/diseases/trachoma/en/
Picture:
http://images.google.com/images?q=trachoma&hl=en&lr=&rls=GGLD,GGLD:2005-12,GGLD:en&start=80&sa=N

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