THE GUINEA WORM

Have fun trying to squash this worm!

The day to day facts of a monster

This wooonderful parasite is scientifically called Dracunculus medinensis, or the GUIINEA WORM (as stated above)! It is a roundworm that is found in the lovely stagnancy of your outside water! Of course, once you drink that water, have fun with it in your body... And make sure not to drink from any unclean ponds in the Sub-Saharan countries such as Niger, Mali, Nigeria, Sudan, or Ghana! That is where the majority of the parasite species now lives. If you do, have fun being infected!

THE NASTIEST THINGS YOU'LL NEVER UNSEE

THE BIRDS AND THE WORMS

The Guinea Worms first enter the body, maturing and beginning to mate. When the female worm is done incubating (usually around twelve months) she will go down the body to the lower extremities- or the foot and ankle. They will create a blister which will form into an ulcer; the ulcer is where they'll break the skin to reach water. When they are in the water, they will release millions of larvae in a cloud of milky, white liquid. They are then eaten by a little crustacean called a copepod, where they mature and start the cycle over again when the copepod is swallowed up with contaminated water!

Want to go the foot or the ankle tonight?

These parasites feed on the essential nutrients of your body, mating with each other all the while and destroying your body! So basically, they're your stereotypical parasite with the twist of the fact it goes out your foot. The guinea worm will also take to infecting the copepod- a crustacean that lives in the water, or a human. At least, those are the only two they have been found residing in.

How bad can these suckers be?

Guinea worms start out as larvae, so the young are obviously microscopic. The adults however (females in particular) can grow up to 2-3 feet in length! That's at least half of the average person's height! Not to mention the fact that they're not harmed by human stomach acid and can create allergic responses which end up making the skin ulcers they come out of. So you know, no big deal.

Some lovely facts for your viewing!

  • First of all, since there is no cure/vaccine and everyone can get it, new filter straws have been designed to filter out the copepods they first live in so people won't become infected!
  • And due to multiple organizations (WHA, IDWSSD, GWEP) battering this parasite again and again for the past twenty or so years, there were only 542 cases worldwide last year!
  • The disease this parasite causes can lead to arthritis, septic arthritis, tetanus, and temporary/permanent disability.
  • It only occurs in the POOREST 10% of the world's population who have no access to drinking water!


Guinea Worm Disease
a little video to better explain then me...