It reported that despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of human Guinea worm cases was cut in half to 27 human cases in six African countries in 2020. When the Carter Center began working on elimination in 1986, there were 3.5 million reported cases in 21 countries. The number of cases reported in animals was also down to about 1,600.
“The numbers we are seeing are very encouraging,” said Jason Carter, chair of the center’s board of trustees. “However, the target number is zero — a complete, sustained absence of human cases and infections in animals — and we will not stop pushing until we get there.”
Only one human disease has ever been eradicated. That was smallpox, in 1980.