Global & Disaster Medicine

Archive for the ‘Guinea worm disease/Dracunculiasis’ Category

Neglected tropical diseases are finally getting the attention they deserve


“…Yet one of the most inspiring success stories is perhaps the one most overlooked: the global effort to eliminate neglected tropical diseases, or NTDs.

Much of the recent success stems from a meeting in London on Jan. 30, 2012 ……

NTDs affect nearly 1.5 billion of the poorest and most marginalized people around the world. And while 500,000 people lose their lives to NTDs every year, these diseases are more likely to disable and disfigure than to kill. …….These agonizing conditions keep children from school and adults from work, trapping families and communities in cycles of poverty……

Today, the landscape is dramatically different. In 2015, nearly 1 billion people received NTD treatments — 20 percent more than just two years before. As a result, fewer people are suffering from these diseases than at any point in history. ……Much of this success can be traced to the 2012 meeting in London. There, the World Health Organization, pharmaceutical companies, donors, governments, and non-governmental organizations committed to work together to control and eliminate 10 NTDs. …”


** Guinea worm disease on the way out!

NY Times

**  Only 22 cases of Guinea worm disease were reported in 2015,

**  126 cases reported in 2014.

**  When the campaign began, there were an estimated 3.5 million cases of Guinea worm infestation

**  The cases were spread across 20 villages in four countries (Chad, Ethiopia, Mali, and South Sudan)

** Guinea worms have been found in hundreds of dogs in Chad, raising the danger that they have found a new host.

**  Guinea worm and polio are the two diseases now closest to being eliminated.

**  There were only 70 cases of polio paralysis in the world last year, all in Pakistan and Afghanistan.



Causal Agent:

Dracunculiasis (guinea worm disease) is caused by the nematode (roundworm) Dracunculus medinensis.

Life Cycle:

Humans become infected by drinking unfiltered water containing copepods (small crustaceans) which are infected with larvae of D. medinensis The number 1. Following ingestion, the copepods die and release the larvae, which penetrate the host stomach and intestinal wall and enter the abdominal cavity and retroperitoneal space The number 2. After maturation into adults and copulation, the male worms die and the females (length: 70 to 120 cm) migrate in the subcutaneous tissues towards the skin surface The number 3. Approximately one year after infection, the female worm induces a blister on the skin, generally on the distal lower extremity, which ruptures. When this lesion comes into contact with water, a contact that the patient seeks to relieve the local discomfort, the female worm emerges and releases larvae The number 4. The larvae are ingested by a copepod The number 5 and after two weeks (and two molts) have developed into infective larvae The number 6. Ingestion of the copepods closes the cycle The number 1.


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