Guinea Worm Disease - Signs and Symptoms

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What are the signs and symptoms of Guinea worm disease?

People do not usually have symptoms until about one year after they become infected. A few days to hours before the worm comes out of the skin, the person may develop a fever, swelling, and pain in the area. More than 90% of the worms come out of the legs and feet, but worms can appear on other body parts too.

People in remote rural communities who have Guinea worm disease often do not have access to health care. When the adult female worm comes out of the skin, it can be very painful, slow, and disabling. Often, the wound caused by the worm develops a secondary bacterial infection. This makes the pain worse and can increase the time an infected person is unable to function to weeks or even months. Sometimes, permanent damage occurs if a person's joints are infected and become locked.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Kiki, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: February 20

The guinea worm migrated in body cavities after 4 years of infestation. I didn"t yet find a drug to kill adult worms. I have already 14 years from infestation.

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