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Dracunculiasis | Guinea-worm disease - Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which doctor should I consult for painful skin blister in the leg to rule out Guinea worm disease?

Guinea worm disease is usually endemic in backward communities of certain regions of Africa and persons can contact their health worker or nurse to treat this condition.

2. In which countries is Guinea worm reported?

As recently as 2017, Guinea worm disease was reported only in two countries in the world namely Chad, and Ethiopia accounting for a total of 30 human cases worldwide.

3. How do dogs develop Guinea worm disease?

It is suggested that they may be eating aquatic animals (e.g., fish or frogs) which have ingested copepods containing Guinea worm larvae.

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4. Does Guinea worm infection confer lifelong immunity?

No. A person can develop recurrent Guinea worm infection.

5. Which is the peak time for Guinea worm transmission?

The agricultural season when people are working barefoot in fields and standing in water is the peak transmission period.  During this season, contaminated ponds should be treated with the larvicide temephos which destroys the infective copepods.

6. Is it possible to eradicate Guinea-worm disease?

Yes. It is already 99 percent eradicated. It has only a limited geographical distribution and control measures are easy to implement.

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