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  • Yaws is a neglected tropical disease that affects the skin, bone and cartilage.

  • It is caused by a bacterium from the same group of organisms that cause venereal syphilis. However, the transmission of yaws is not sexually-related.

  • Humans are the only reservoir of this bacterial infection. A recent discovery that a single-dose of azithromycin (given orally) can cure the disease has raised the prospects of eradicating yaws altogether.

  • Yaws mainly affects children below 15 years of age and is endemic in at least 14 countries.

  • India is the only country to completely interrupt transmission during the past 6 years.

  • Mass treatment campaigns using injectable penicillin from 1952 to 1964 in 46 countries reduced the prevalence of yaws by 95% (from an estimated 50 million cases down to 2.5 million).

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