Mystery Solved

The parasitic worms associated with elephantiasis, which causes painful skin disfigurement, did not cause a recent surge in foot deformities among western Ugandans, as health officials had thought. Instead, say researchers from the Uganda Ministry of Health, the WHO and the CDC, barefoot exposure over a long period­ to minerals found in soil is to blame.
 
The findings reveal the deformities and skin ulcerations were not, in fact, new for many patients. Some had suffered silently for decades. Elephantiasis had not previously been known to afflict people in Kamwenge District, where the supposed outbreak occurred.
 
Source: American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

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