(redirected from Guinea worm disease)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.



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 ?
But there needs to be more commitment of officials and health staff at all levels to keep people with Guinea worm disease from contaminating sources of drinking water.
The Carter Center, which Carter founded in 1982 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy institute, leads global efforts to eradicate Guinea worm disease, which maims and cripples more than two million people in Africa every year.
role in the World Health Organization's worldwide campaign to eradicate Guinea worm disease.
Abu Dhabi: An exhibition celebrating the near eradication of the Guinea worm disease (GWD) was opened in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, highlighting the efforts and contributions made by countries and organisations around the world to help stop what was once a prevalent disease infecting more than three million people annually.
This finding is especially noteworthy at this point because the Guinea worm eradication program has reduced the number of countries with endemic Guinea worm disease from 20 to 4 and the number of persons infected each year from >3 million in 1986 to <20.
Guinea worm disease is a parasite caused by drinking infected water.
January 8, 2016 (JUBA) -- South Sudanese government said only 5 cases of guinea worm disease were reported last year, 2015, reducing the threat of the disease by 93% from 70 cases reported in 2014.
Only five cases of Guinea worm disease have been reported worldwide in 2015: It's a race, Carter acknowledges, between him and the Guinea worm to see which outlasts the other.
You never hear about problems with Jimmy Carter's foundation; he just quietly goes around the world eradicating Guinea worm disease.
Guinea worm disease and polio are close to being eradicated, and other diseases are achieving regional elimination.
Guinea worm disease was once a substantial cause of illness in tropical and subtropical Africa and Asia, but cases declined as water sanitation improved in the 19th century.
Sudan reported a small outbreak of two cases of Guinea worm disease in June 2013 and one case in September 2013.