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Buruli Ulcer in Sub-Saharan Africa


Buruli ulcer is a chronic skin infection caused by an environmental Mycobacterium ulcerans. The disease has been documented in over 33 countries, but the bulk of the disease burden occurs in Sub-Saharan Africa. The majority of people affected are children below 15 years of age. The mode of transmission is still not known. However, there have been significant advances in the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment in the past decade. The public health strategy aimed at reducing morbidity and disability based on early detection of cases and antibiotic treatment. This requires intensive health education in the affected communities to encourage the population to report early to the health facilities. Research to develop rapid point-of-care diagnostic tests and to simplify antibiotic treatment are in progress and expected to be in practical application in the field within the next decade.

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