Factors that increase your risk of contracting trachoma include:

  • Poverty. Trachoma is primarily a disease of extremely poor populations in developing countries.
  • Crowded living conditions. People living in close contact are at greater risk of spreading infection.
  • Poor sanitation. Poor sanitary conditions and lack of hygiene, such as unclean faces or hands, help spread the disease.
  • Age. In areas where the disease is active, it's most common in children ages 4 to 6.
  • Sex. Women contract the disease at rates two to six times higher than those for men.
  • Poor access to water. Households at greater distances from a water supply are more susceptible to infection.
  • Flies. People living in areas with problems controlling the fly population may be more susceptible to infection.
  • Lack of latrines. Populations without access to working latrines — a type of communal toilet — have a higher incidence of the disease.
Oct. 03, 2012