Guinea Worm Disease: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 7/1/2021

Guinea worm disease (GWD or dracunculiasis) is an uncommon tropical disease.

Signs and symptoms of Guinea worm disease include a

Other associated symptoms and signs can include

Cause of Guinea worm disease

The parasite Dracunculus medinensis causes the infection. The infection spreads to humans when a person drinks water contaminated by water fleas that harbor Guinea worm larvae. The larvae then grow into adult worms (2-3 feet in length) in the small intestine and then migrate and emerge from the skin. GWD affects poor communities in remote parts of Africa that do not have safe water to drink.

Other guinea worm disease symptoms and signs


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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.