- Associated Press - Friday, January 8, 2016

ATLANTA (AP) - Officials with The Carter Center in Atlanta say 22 cases of Guinea worm disease were reported worldwide in 2015, down from 126 cases during the previous year.

The human rights organization founded by former President Jimmy Carter in 1986 began targeting the painful parasitic disease for eradication. At that time, an estimated 3.5 million cases occurred annually worldwide.

The 2015 figures announced this week include cases in four African countries: Chad, Ethiopia, Mali and South Sudan.

In a statement included with the latest report, Carter says the organization is committed to educating people about the disease to ensure future generations aren’t affected.

People get Guinea worm by drinking water containing the larvae, which grow before emerging through painful blisters on the skin. There is no vaccine or medical treatment for the disease.

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