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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 ?
So far, few mathematical models have been proposed to understand the spread and control of Guinea worm disease (see, for example, [6-9]).
> Dr Adamu Keana Sallau, director for integrated health programmes in the Imo/Abia States at The Carter Centre in Nigeria, received the Last Mile Award for directly contributing to reaching elimination of Guinea worm disease in Nigeria
(ii) The immunological (within-host) transmission parameters such as the rate at which infected copepods within an infected human host release mature worms [N.sub.C][[mu].sub.C] after digestion by human gastric juice; the rate at which mature worms become fertilized females worms [[alpha].sub.M]/2; and the rate at which mature worms and females worms die all contribute to the transmission of Guinea worm disease. Therefore immune mechanisms that kill infected copepods and worms within infected human host and also treatment intend to kill both mature worms and fertilized female worm population may help to reduce the transmission risk of GWD.
When Jimmy Carter made elimination of guinea worm disease in Africa his main goal in 1986, there were an estimated 3.5 million cases of the disease in 20 countries in Africa and Asia.
Krasner (biology, Providence College) gives the background and the real stories behind the development of the Salk polio vaccine and nine other projects to cure, treat or resist such plagues as Chagas Disease, typhus, influenza, smallpox, prion diseases, AIDS, bacterially based ulcers, and Guinea worm disease, as well as the development of the first antibiotics.
Along with the success against smallpox came strides against polio, malaria, measles, guinea worm disease, and other nemeses.
Foreign Minister Keizo Obuchi on Friday pledged Japan's financial assistance to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and their worldwide efforts to fight Guinea worm disease, Foreign Ministry officials said.
The latter includes expanded immunization programs and reduction of polio, measles, yaws, rabies, "river blindness," and the Guinea worm disease.
Merck Chemical and similar groups help the Carter Center to prevent river blindness and eradicate guinea worm disease in 16 African nations.
Then came a press release from the Carter Center, in which the ex-president praised American Cyanamid for donating more than $2 million worth of the chemical Abate for the center's program to eradicate Guinea worm disease by 1995.
role in the World Health Organization's worldwide campaign to eradicate Guinea worm disease. Also called dracunculiasis, the water-borne, crippling disease is caused by a worm that infects an estimated 10 million people annually, mostly in rural areas of Africa, India and Pakistan.