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helminthiasis caused by the roundworm (helminth) Dracunculus medinensis, a nematode that parasitizes mainly subcutaneous tissue. It attacks man and some animals (dogs, jackals, and so forth). It is widespread in some parts of Africa, India, the Arabian Peninsula, Iran, and Brazil. In the USSR, it was observed in separate areas in Middle Asia; it was eradicated with the active help of the Soviet scientist L. M. Isaev and has not been reported since 1932.

Human beings become infected when they swallow the infested crustacean Cyclops with water. Nine to 14 months after infection, allergic symptoms (hives, attacks of asphyxia, and so forth), as well as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fainting spells occur. A blister forms on the skin around the place where the helminth has penetrated. The parasite can often be seen in this place. The blister breaks a few days later, with the formation and subsequent sloughing off of a necrotic mass. When a person goes into the water (to bathe), the larva of the parasite escapes from the infected area into the water and enters the body of Cyclops.

Dracunculiasis may be complicated by synovitis (inflammation of the joint capsules), contractures, and so forth. Treatment consists in surgical removal of the helminth and administration of anti-inflammatory agents. Prevention consists in proper organization of the water supply system.


Kassirskii, I. A., and N. N. Plotnikov. Bolezni zharkikh stran, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1964.
References in periodicals archive ?
The former president travelled to Ghana, the country that inspired him 20 years ago to lead an international coalition to eradicate Guinea worm disease, a debilitating parasitic infection that traps its victims in a cycle of poverty and pain for generations.
Led by Jimmy Carter, The Carter Centre has spearheaded a coalition of organisations in the global campaign to eradicate Guinea worm disease since 1986.
We are running out of chances to give the next generation an opportunity for a bright and healthy future free of Guinea worm disease.
President Carter said, "We stand at the cusp of major breakthroughs in the elimination and eradication of a number of tropical diseases, notably lymphatic filariasis, Guinea worm disease and polio.
Eradication of Guinea worm disease is a worthwhile commitment that will have a permanent impact on the quality of life in Ghana, and we are proud to join with The Carter Center for this humanitarian mission.
Since 1986, the Center has coordinated a coalition of organizations and governments to eradicate Guinea worm disease, a parasite that once crippled millions in Africa and Asia.
The impact of having Guinea worm disease probably will never enter your life or the lives of your family.
Tabitha Boutros the role of Carter Centre for eradication of Guinea worm disease combating the river blindness disease in southern Sudan and ways to speed up the efforts in this regard.
The near-eradication of guinea worm disease will be commemorated today at the U.
Guinea worm disease is contracted by drinking contaminated water from stagnant ponds or wells.
Day-to-day illnesses for locals include diarrhea, malaria and guinea worm disease, due to sometimes drinking borehole water.
The Center's accomplishments include monitoring democratic elections in nearly a dozen countries; helping increase the worldwide immunization rate of children from 20 to 80 percent; leading the fight to eradicate Guinea worm disease in the developing world by the end of 1995; helping African farmers more than triple grain production; and working with inner city communities to fight poverty and hopelessness through programs in health, education, housing, economic development, and public safety.