Parasites: Guinea Worm

By: Chris Cruz

Where Does It Live?

Only four countries reported Guinea worm disease in 2012. These countries were Chad, Ethiopia, Mali, and South Sudan.

What does it eat?

It absorbs nutrients from your body tissues.

How does it reproduce?

Once the larvae enter the body and mature, a male and female mate, then the female travels to the legs and makes a blister where it releases larvae into water.
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What are the hosts of choice?

It will infect any human who drinks infected water

Any special adaptations?

When it emerges from the skin it creates a painful blister. When you put it in water it releases eggs. It also has a shield against stomach acid.

How big does it get?

When the worms start out as larvae, they are microscopic. As they mature into adults, they be as long as 2-3 feet.

Other interesting facts

Guinea worm disease is soon to be eradicated. Thanks to special efforts like the Carter Center, guinea worm has gone from 3.5 million cases in 1986, to 542 cases in 2012.