Pathophisiology: Dracunculiasis is infection with Dracunculus medinensis, a nematode worm. It is caused by drinking water containing water fleas (Cyclops species) that have ingested Dracunculus larvae. In the human body, the larvae are released and migrate through the intestinal wall into body tissues, where they develop into adult worms. The female worms move through the person’s subcutaneous tissue, causing intense pain, and eventually emerge through the skin, usually at the feet, producing oedema, a blister and eventually an ulcer, accompanied by fever, nausea, and vomiting. If they come into contact with water as they are emerging, the female worms discharge their larvae, setting in motion a new life cycle. Its symptoms include: • Fever • Local swelling • Local pain • Chronic skin ulcers • Visible worms in skin ulcers • Painful skin bumps • Stinging skin bumps • Nausea • Vomiting • Diarrhea Statistical report: Dracunculiasis is rarely imported to the Sweden. Two cases have been reported since 1995, both occurring in individuals . Death due to dracunculiasis is not caused by the primary infection and occurs only in cases in which secondary infection of the worm's exit site leads to sepsis. The mortality rate is quite low; however, morbidity is a major concern, with secondary infection being the most common complication. Cellulitis or the formation of an abscess requires prompt attention, and pain from the exit sites often can incapacitate patients for weeks. This is usually observed in individuals who have multiple worms and rely on their ability to stand or walk for their livelihood. Farmers with untreated dracunculiasis have been found to miss work for up to 3 months. Infected schoolchildren may miss up to 25% of the school year. Therefore,Dracunculus infection can cause significant socioeconomic burden for individuals and communities.
Treatment: 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. The process can be long, taking anywhere from hours to a week. Gently massaging the area around the blister can help loosen the worm.This is nearly the same treatment that is noted in the famous ancient Egyptian medical text, the Ebers papyrus from 1550 BC. Some people have said that extracting a Guinea worm feels like the afflicted area is on fire. However, if the infection is identified before an ulcer forms, the worm can also be surgically removed by a trained doctor in a medical facility. Drugs such as Metronidazole, Flagyl and Metronidazole in sodium chloride I.V can be administered. Research works: Progress toward Global Eradication of Dracunculiasis .WHO certifies a country free from dracunculiasis after that country maintains adequate nationwide surveillance for at least 3 consecutive years and demonstrates that no cases of indigenous dracunculiasis occurred during that period.WHO had certified 192 countries and territories as free from dracunculiasis and 14 countries remain to be certified.