Yaws makes a comeback

 作者:寿胜斤     |      日期:2019-03-02 10:20:02
By You’ve probably never heard of it, but yaws – a crippling disease that largely disappeared with the arrival of antibiotics – is making a comeback. Spread by casual contact, the chronic skin condition is caused by a bacterium similar to that behind syphilis. It begins as pustules and progresses to gross bone deformities. It can be cured with a long-acting penicillin shot. Between 1950 and 1970, a World Health Organization-led programme treated 50 million people in 46 countries, cutting yaws cases by 95 per cent. However, in the 1970s, the final stages of the eradication scheme were handed over to local health authorities and – in the absence of dedicated teams – the disease rebounded, with half a million new cases diagnosed in south-east Asia and west Africa since then. Now the WHO wants it gone from Asia by 2012, and is considering a revival of its 1950s-style worldwide eradication plan. Coincidentally, the WHO’s polio programme is also facing scrutiny, as it too approaches eradication of the disease. Later this month, experts will decide whether to maintain the polio-specific eradication drive,