A filarial infection caused by the nematode onchocerca volvulus, acquired by humans through a Simulium blackfly bite (the fly is found along the rivers because it breeds in fast-flowing water). It causes eye lesions (that may lead to blindness), dermatitis, atrophy, subcutaneous nodules, scarring of the skin, and pruritus. Worms from the bite find their way into the entire body, and upon their death, cause immense itching and a strong reaction from the body's immune system leading to the destruction of nearby tissue like the eye.

Also Known As

  • River Blindness