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Dracunculiasis (Guinea worm infection)

Most cases reported are now from Sudan, Yemen and other sub-Saharan African countries.

Infection is acquired by drinking water contaminated with Cyclopes water

This disease is transmitted by fleas carrying the guinea worm larvae.

These larvae penetrate the intestine and mature into adult worms that then start moving.

These worms will travel, and can exit through skin (feet, genitalia, hands or breasts). It can take 3 weeks to emerge.

While they are emerging, embryos are shed into water while the infected person is bathing.
Dracunculiasis is acquired in poor rural communities and is is prevented by drinking boiled water (which kills the fleas and larvae Symptoms may be absent until emergence.

If a joint is entered there will be localized pain and swelling.

Skin will blister at the worm exit point, and then ulcers can take weeks to heal. Sometimes generalized symptoms (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, swelling, itchy rash) occur during worm emergence, more so if multiple worms are expelled.
When visible the worm can be sped up by repeating to immersing it in water where it releases its larval (as a milky fluid).

After it protrudes enough its thread-like head can be wrapped around a stick and gently pulled, but it can still take two weeks to remove.
Progress is being made in eradicating this disease through improvements in water sources and educating infected populations.

Dracunculosis (Guinea Worm) resources;

Centre of Disease Control

www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dpd/parasites/guineaworm/factsht_guineaworm.htm

http://ftp.cdc.gov/pub/EID/vol1no2/adobe/ruiz.vol1no2.pdf