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Latest on Guinea Worm Eradication:

The program has made great strides from 3.5 million cases annually in the mid-1980s to 148 cases in 2013.  In 2014, only 126 cases were reported worldwide—a 15% reduction in cases from the previous year. Global eradication is within reach.

Left: Woman gathering water in a pond. Guinea worm disease is transmitted by drinking unfiltered water from ponds and other stagnant surface water sources. Center: A health worker providing education to children about how to avoid getting Guinea worm disease. Right: A young man using a pipe filter to drink from a pond. Pipe filters help remove the water fleas that carry Dracunculus medinensis.

Guinea worm disease, considered a Neglected Tropical Disease, is caused by the parasite Dracunculus medinensis. The disease affects poor communities in remote parts of Africa that do not have safe water to drink. There is no drug treatment for Guinea worm disease nor a vaccine to prevent it.


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  • Page last updated: March 30, 2015 The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
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