My story: Fred Hoey, 63, escaped the Guinea worm but the disease could still return

At this stage, we are having a preliminary look at a near miss situation on weather reporting but the potential for the outbreak is wide-spread and has, and could, affect people that are very close to the affected, and offer vital guidance to road users during the period of the outbreak.

The continued reporting of isolated individuals affected with the rare but serious illness is a crucial early indicator of the disease’s spread.

If you are out and about in the areas affected, please take every precaution including regularly checking for symptoms to avoid contracting the illness.

We want to highlight the importance of protecting yourselves, your children and family from the highly infectious and fatal disease.

If you become ill and in particular if you become very sick very quickly, you are infectious to other people. Always use extreme caution. Remember to wash your hands, hand wash with soap and water or pour a jug of water over your hands. Drink the water as soon as you can to reduce the risk of contamination.

Stay at home and look after yourself so you can get better very quickly. The infection is transmitted by direct contact with your nose, mouth or eyes or by mosquitoes.

Avoiding mosquito bites is the best way to protect yourself from the illness. Mosquitoes that bite during the day can bite through a thin cover of clothing or can bite during sleeping. It is a sensible precaution to wear bug spray and long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors.

Many additional research activities are currently planned to update UK and overseas approaches and surveillance and estimate the geographical scope of the outbreak in Europe. We are grateful for all the international scientific co-operation that has been made available.

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