Docs Close to Stamping Out Guinea Worm

Worldwide campaign may eradicate the second disease ever
By NewsDude ,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 23, 2007 1:42 PM CDT
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – In a campaign led by Jimmy Carter, world public health authorities have decreased the incidence of guinea worm disease (formally known as dracunculiasis) from 3.5 million cases in 1986 to just over 25,000 in 2006. Guinea worm is a parasite transmitted through water to humans that causes excruciating pain when its larvae emerge from the skin.

The disease is being brought under control without any vaccine or drug therapy, but through a combination of education, the use of a fine mesh cloth to strain water and chemicals applied to water sources to kill the parasite.