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Due to the common fear of spiders, discovering a problem in your business could have a big effect on your employees and your customers. If the spider problem is located in a public area it could also scare away potential customers leading to loss of earnings.
Professional treatments are often recommended to deal with the discovery of a large population of spiders on your premises, especially to avoid any potential risk of spider bites.
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Organism: nematode worm, Onchocerca volvulus
River blindness affects 37 million people, mainly in 31 countries in Africa and also Central and South America. It is only a risk in remote rural areas near fast flowing streams where the blackfly breeds.
The parasite causes itching of the skin, lymphadenitis (hanging groins), elephantiasis of the genitals, serious visual impairment, and blindness.
The parasite has a complex lifecycle, only reproducing in humans and having several larval stages in the blackfly. The female blackflies seek a blood meal after mating and if they feed on an infected human can ingest the microfilariae stage from the blood. The microfilariae produce larvae, which have three stages, the last of which migrates to the head and proboscis of the fly and can infect humans via the saliva on biting.
The larvae migrate to subcutaneous tissue where they form nodules and mature into adults in 6-10 months. The adults mate and the female produces a microfilaria stage, which can then be ingested by the blackfly on feeding.
The adult nematode worm can grow to 50cm and live in the nodules for 15 years, producing the microfilaria stage for up to nine years.
Treatment is available to kill the microfilariae and relieve the skin itching, but not to kill the adult worms. However a potential new treatment has been reported by CDC using an antibiotic that kills a symbiotic bacterium, Wolbachia, that is essential for the parasite’s survival.
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