Gordius medinensis Linnaeus, 1758
Dracunculus medinensis or Guinea worm is a nematode that causes dracunculiasis, also known as guinea worm disease. The disease is caused by the female which, at up to 800 mm (31 in) in length, is among the longest nematodes infecting humans. In contrast, the longest recorded male Guinea worm is only 40 mm (1.6 in).
In the 1980s a programme to eradicate guinea worm was begun, including by the Carter Center. The programme included education of people in affected areas that the disease was caused by larvae in drinking water, isolation and support for sufferers, and – crucially – widespread distribution of net filters and pipe filters for drinking water, and education about the importance of using them.
In 2015 it was reported that the species was near eradication. People now in their 70s are more than hopeful, that they will see Guinea worm disease completely eliminated in their lifetime.
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- Langbong Bimi (2007). "Potential vector species of Guinea worm (Dracunculus medinensis) in Northern Ghana". Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases 7 (3): 324–329. doi:10.1089/vbz.2006.0622. PMID 17767406.
- G. D. Schmidt & L S. Roberts (2009). Larry S. Roberts & John Janovy, Jr., ed. Foundations of Parasitology (8th ed.). McGraw-Hill. pp. 480–484. ISBN 978-0-07-128458-5.
- Talha Bin Saleem & Irfan Ahmed (2006). ""Serpent" in the breast" (PDF). Journal of Ayub Medical College Abbottabad 18 (4): 67–68. PMID 17591014.
- Donors Commit $240 Million to Fight Neglected Diseases
- How to Slay a Dragon - documentary by Clifford Bestall, broadcast on Al Jazeera English, Spring 2014 (video, 47 min.)