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Diseases » River Blindness » Glossary

Glossary for River Blindness

  • Acute papular dermatitis:
  • Cataracts: Cloudy areas on the eye's cornea interfering with vision.
  • Coccidioidomycosis: An infectious disease caused by a fungus called Coccidioides immitis which is found in the soil. Transmission usually occurs through inhalation but can rarely occur through the skin. Very rarely, infection can spread throughout the body to involve the skin, bones, joints, lungs and central nervous system which can be fatal if untreated.
  • Conditions involving a pathogen: Medical conditions involving some type of pathogen, such as a virus or bacteria.
  • Conjunctivitis: Contagious eye infection
  • Cysticercosis: An infectious disease caused by the pork tapeworm Taenia solium. If the larvae are ingested then a mild or asymptomatic tapeworm infection occurs. However, ingested eggs pass into the bloodstream where they can then enter various tissues and form the cysts that characterize cysticercosis.
  • Eosinophilia: This is when there is an abnormal increase in the eosinophils in the blood
  • Eye and vision conditions: Medical conditions affecting the eyes or the vision systems.
  • Glaucoma: Glaucoma is the term for a diverse group of eye diseases, all of which involve progressive damage to the optic nerve. Glaucoma is usually, but not always, accompanied by high intraocular (internal) fluid pressure. Optic nerve damage produces certain characteristic visual field defects in the individual's peripheral (side), as well as central, vision.
  • Gnathostoma hispidum infection: A tapeworm infection with a tapeworm species called Gnathostoma hispidum. The infection is called gnathostomiasis and usually results from eating undercooked contaminated fish or poultry or drinking contaminated water. The nature and severity of symptoms vary depending on which part of the body the tapeworms migrate through (usually the skin).
  • Hyperpigmentation: Excess skin pigment or coloration
  • Keratitis: Any inflammation of the cornea of the eye
  • Loiasis: A parasitic worm (Loa Loa) which is transmitted through a bit by the horsefly, deer fly or the Mango fly. The skin and eyes are usually affected. The worm larvae enter the blood stream through a bite by an infected fly. The adult worms move through the skin, eyes or other organs often causing a localized inflammation. Central Africa is the main area affected. Symptoms may take up to one and a half decades to occur and serious complications can occur depending on where the adult worm travels to within the body.
  • Optic atrophy: Dysfunction of the optic nerve which results in impaired vision. The disorder may be congenital or acquired. The rate and degree of atrophy is greatly variable depending on the cause.
  • Optic neuritis: Optic nerve inflammation
  • Parasitic Conditions: A condition that is characterised by another organism living off another organism
  • Pruritus: The sensation of itch
  • Skin conditions: Any condition that affects the skin
  • Skin nodules: The occurrence of nodules that are located on the skin
  • Sporotrichosis: A fungal skin infection caused by the fungus Sporothrix schenckii. Usually only the skin is infected but bones, lungs and central nervous system can rarely be affected also. Transmission usually occurs through infection of a skin wound.
  • Uveitis: A condition which is characterised by the inflammation of the uvea of the eye


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