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  • Human echinococcosis is a parasitic disease caused by tapeworms of the genus Echinococcus.

  • The two most important forms of the disease in humans are cystic echinococcosis (hydatidosis) and alveolar echinococcosis.

  • Humans are infected through ingestion of parasite eggs in contaminated food, water or soil, or through direct contact with animal hosts.

  • Echinococcosis is often expensive and complicated to treat, and may require extensive surgery and/or prolonged drug therapy.

  • Prevention programmes involve deworming of dogs, improved slaughterhouse hygiene, and public education campaigns; vaccination of lambs is currently being evaluated as an additional intervention.

  • WHO is working towards the validation of effective cystic echinococcosis control strategies by 2018.


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