Dracunculiasis

Common Name(s)

Dracunculiasis, Medina worm disease, Guinea worn disease

Dracunculiasis is an infection caused by the guinea worm. The most common cause of this infection is drinking contaminated water that usually has water fleas that contain the guinea worm’s larvae. Initially there are no symptoms and it may take about up to a year for the worms to exit the human body which is when symptoms begin. The worms may spread throughout different parts of the body and eventually emerge through the skin causing immense pain. The most common areas for the worms to appear are on the lower legs and feet. This infection is usually accompanied by blisters, ulcers, nausea, fever, and vomiting. Although there are currently no vaccination or treatments for this disease, this infection is rarely fatal, and there are preventative measures against this infection. Secondary infections, after the exit of the worms is the major cause for concern and may include cellulitis, tetanus, sepsis, and abscess. If the lesion occurs near a joint it can lead to joint contractures (where the joint stiffens in a bent position) and disability. Careful removal of the worms and treatment of the blisters are crucial in preventing any secondary infections.

Dracunculiasis is considered a neglected tropical disease (NTD) by the World Health Organization (WHO), meaning that it affects the world's poorest populations in some of the most remote and rural tropical and subtropical areas. These types of diseases persist in poverty conditions due to little or no access to medical care or clean drinking water sources. The global dracunculiasis program has drastically reduced this parasitic infection in recent years, with cases being reported in just a few remaining countries. Please be wary when drinking water, especially in unsanitary places and fully filter potentially contaminated water sources.

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Condition Specific Organizations

Following organizations serve the condition "Dracunculiasis" for support, advocacy or research.

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Scientific Literature

Articles from the PubMed Database

Research articles describe the outcome of a single study. They are the published results of original research.
The terms "Dracunculiasis" returned 113 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Last Updated: 22 May 2017

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Progress Toward Global Eradication of Dracunculiasis -January 2015-June 2016.
 

Author(s): Donald R Hopkins, Ernesto Ruiz-Tiben, Mark L Eberhard, Sharon L Roy, Adam J Weiss

Journal:

 

Dracunculiasis (Guinea worm disease) is caused by Dracunculus medinensis, a parasitic worm. Approximately 1 year after a person acquires infection from drinking contaminated water, the worm emerges through the skin, usually on the leg. Pain and secondary bacterial infection can cause ...

Last Updated: 13 Oct 2016

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Dracunculiasis eradication: global surveillance summary, 2015.
 

Author(s):

Journal: Wkly. Epidemiol. Rec.. 2016 Apr;91(17):219-36.

 

Last Updated: 29 Apr 2016

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Reviews from the PubMed Database

Review articles summarize what is currently known about a disease. They discuss research previously published by others.
The terms "Dracunculiasis" returned 4 free, full-text review articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Dracunculiasis (guinea worm disease): eradication without a drug or a vaccine.
 

Author(s): Gautam Biswas, Dieudonne P Sankara, Junerlyn Agua-Agum, Alhousseini Maiga

Journal:

 

Dracunculiasis, commonly known as guinea worm disease, is a nematode infection transmitted to humans exclusively via contaminated drinking water. The disease prevails in the most deprived areas of the world. No vaccine or medicine is available against the disease: eradication is being ...

Last Updated: 26 Jun 2013

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Dracunculiasis (guinea worm disease).
 

Author(s): Chris Greenaway

Journal: CMAJ. 2004 Feb;170(4):495-500.

 

Dracunculiasis (guinea worm disease) is a parasitic disease that is limited to remote, rural villages in 13 sub-Saharan African countries that do not have access to safe drinking water. It is one the next diseases targeted for eradication by the World Health Organization. Guinea worm ...

Last Updated: 18 Feb 2004

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Dracunculiasis (Guinea worm disease) and the eradication initiative.
 

Author(s): Sandy Cairncross, Ralph Muller, Nevio Zagaria

Journal: Clin. Microbiol. Rev.. 2002 Apr;15(2):223-46.

 

Dracunculiasis, also known as guinea worm disease, is caused by the large female of the nematode Dracunculus medinensis, which emerges painfully and slowly from the skin, usually on the lower limbs. The disease can infect animals, and sustainable animal cycles occur in North America ...

Last Updated: 4 Apr 2002

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Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

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