Dracunculiasis is also known to be guinea worm disease which is an infection caused by the guinea worm. A person becomes infected when they drink water that contains water fleas infected with guinea worm larvae. Guinea worm disease is caused by drinking water which is contaminated by water fleas.
When the Guinea worm is ready to come out of the body, it creates a painful burning blister on the skin. When the infected person immerses the blister in cool water to ease the symptoms, the Guinea worm breaks through the blister and part of the worm is exposed. Management of GWD involves removing the whole worm and caring for the wound in general. There is no specific drug to treat or prevent GWD. The only way to avoid infection is to prevent exposure to the Guinea worm larvae in contaminated drinking water sources.
There is no vaccine or medicine to treat or prevent Guinea worm disease. Once a Guinea worm begins emerging, the first step is to do a controlled submersion of the affected area in a bucket of water. This causes the worm to discharge many of its larva, making it less infectious. The water is then discarded on the ground far away from any water source. Submersion results in subjective relief of the burning sensation and makes subsequent extraction of the worm easier. To extract the worm, a person must wrap the live worm around a piece of gauze or a stick.