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  • Also known as Guinea Worm disease
  • Caused by Dracunculus medinensis - infection due to drinking contaminated water
  • Generally limited to central Africa
    • Effort underway to eradicate disease in endemic countries[1]

Clinical Features

  • Adult worm migrates through subcutaneous tissues of the leg and erodes through skin, approximately 1 year after infection[1]
  • Symptoms prior to eruption include: rash, intense pruritus, nausea/vomiting, dyspnea, and diarrhea

Differential Diagnosis

Helminth infections

Cestodes (Tapeworms)

Trematodes (Flukes)

Nematodes (Roundworms)


  • Clinical diagnosis


  • Metronidazole 750mg TID x 5-10 days OR thiabendazole 50-75mg/day divided BID x 3 days
  • Must also extract adult worm from skin
  • Patients with active skin lesions should avoid contact with potable water


  • Discharge

See Also

External Links


  1. 1.0 1.1 Hopkins DR, Ruiz-Tiben E, Eberhard ML, Roy SL; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Progress toward global eradication of dracunculiasis--January 2013-June 2014. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2014 Nov 21;63(46):1050-4.