This paper addresses the question of when guinea worm disease was last found in Egypt, and how written sources from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries which mention the disease should be evaluated.
This enquiry is relevant to the global eradication campaign now in progress, and the need for countries in which dracunculiasis was once present to prepare a certification of eradication.
Sudan, the country which has the largest number of cases today, is Egypt's southern neighbour.
Because of the nature of the disease (in endemic areas it is most common among poor, rural people), it may not have come to the attention of urban-based health personnel.
In the period before the details of the transmission cycle were known, the attitudes and mindsets of physicians and travellers also have to be taken into account in interpreting written reports of the disease.
An examination of documentary sources from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in European languages does not show any clear evidence for dracunculiasis transmission in Egypt during that period.
Cases noted in Egypt, especially by the much quoted Dr Clot Bey in the 1820s, most likely originated beyond the borders of the country, in Sudan and, to a lesser extent, from endemic areas in the Middle East.
However, many later commentators merely repeated what Clot Bey had written. (...)
Mots-clés Pascal : Dracunculose, Filariose, Nématodose, Helminthiase, Parasitose, Infection, Eradication, Programme sanitaire, Transmission, Eau, Epidémiologie, Homme, Egypte, Afrique
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Dracunculosis, Filariosis, Nematode disease, Helminthiasis, Parasitosis, Infection, Eradication, Sanitary program, Transmission, Water, Epidemiology, Human, Egypt, Africa
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 98-0163615
Code Inist : 002B05E03B4B. Création : 21/07/1998.