Pathophysiology: Dracunculiasis (more commonly known as guinea-worm disease) is a crippling parasitic disease caused by Dracunculus medinensis, a long, thread-like worm. It is transmitted exclusively when people drink stagnant water contaminated with parasite-infected water fleas.
Treatment: Analgesics, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, are given to help ease the pain and Metronidazole or thiabendazole (in adults) is usually adjunctive to stick therapy and somewhat facilitates the extraction process. Local cleansing of the lesion and local application of antibiotics, if indicated because of bacterial superinfection. Mechanical, progressive extraction of the worm over a period of several days.
Stats: Worldwide incidence of Dracunculiasis: 78,338 cases in 1998 worldwide (DPD).
Major Research Dracunculiasis - an invasion of “little dragons” - is the scariest skin disease ever.