Guinea Worm Disease (Dracunculiasis)

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What is the treatment for Guinea worm disease?

There is no drug to treat Guinea worm disease and no vaccine to prevent infection. Once part of the worm begins to come out of the wound, the rest of the worm can only be pulled out a few centimeters each day by winding it around a piece of gauze or a small stick. Sometimes the whole worm can be pulled out within a few days, but this process usually takes weeks. Medicine, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, can help reduce pain and swelling. Antibiotic ointment can help prevent secondary bacterial infections. The worm can also be surgically removed by a trained doctor in a medical facility before a blister forms.

Where is Guinea worm disease found?

Only four countries reported local Guinea worm disease in 2014. These countries were Chad, Ethiopia, Mali, and South Sudan. Many other African countries and all of Asia are now free of GWD. As of January 2015, the World Health Organization had certified 198 countries, territories, and areas, representing 186 WHO Member States as being free of GWD transmission.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/3/2015

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