New Smartphone Microscope Can Diagnose Deadly Blood-Borne Parasite


Millions of people in Central Africa are infected with the Loa loa parasite. Usually, this isn't such a big deal because it tends to just cause a bit of mild itching and swelling. However, when being treated for other parasite-borne illnesses with a medication called ivermectin, those who are infected with Loa loa can experience some serious side effects, including hemorrhaging, neurological problems, and even death. In order to try to avoid these complications, health care workers have to go through a lengthy process of manually screening each patient for the Loa loa parasite. This innovative iPhone-based microscope can help locate tiny Loa loa parasites in the blood at the point-of-care in a matter of minutes, potentially saving lives. 

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