Guinea Worm Disease (Dracunculiasis)
Guinea worm disease facts*
*Guinea worm disease facts by John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
What is dracunculiasis?
Dracunculiasis, more commonly known as Guinea worm disease (GWD), is a preventable infection caused by the parasite Dracunculus medinensis. Infection affects poor communities in remote parts of Africa that do not have safe water to drink.
Currently, many organizations, including The Global 2000 program of The Carter Center of Emory University, UNICEF, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO) are helping to eradicate the disease. Since 1986, when an estimated 3.5 million people were infected annually, the campaign has eliminated much of the disease. The number of cases went down to 542 in 2012.
In 2011, only four countries reported cases of GWD: Chad, Ethiopia, Mali, and South Sudan. All affected countries are aiming to eliminate Guinea worm disease as soon as possible.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/3/2014
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