Dracunculiasis | United States| PDF | PPT| Case Reports | Symptoms | Treatment

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  • Dracunculiasis

    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. WHO has received reports of 12 cases from January until July 2015, compared with 52 cases reported during the same period in 2014. South Sudan, which until the end of May 2015 had reported zero cases, has now reported 3 cases. The combined total from the three other endemic countries – Chad, Ethiopia and Mali is 9 cases. 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. Great progress has been made in the last three decades. GWD is now poised to be the next disease after smallpox to be eradicated. As of January 2015, the ICCDE has certified External Web Site Icon 198 countries, territories, and areas, representing 186 WHO Member States as being free from GWD transmission, with only 8 countries remaining to be certified: Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Sudan and the four remaining endemic countries of Chad, Ethiopia, Mali, and South Sudan.

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