Downs, P. W., Sankara, D. P., & Yeboah-Antwi, K. (2016). Helminthic Diseases: Dracunculiasis. In S. R. Quah, & W. C. Cockerham (Eds.), The International Encyclopedia of Public Health (2nd ed., Vol. 3, pp. 532-544). Oxford Press. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-803678-5.00201-0
Dracunculiasis (Guinea worm disease) is caused by Dracunculus medinensis, a parasitic worm that emerges through the skin about 1 year after acquiring infection from contaminated drinking water. In 1986, when an estimated 3.5 million cases were occurring each year in 21 countries in Africa and Asia, the World Health Assembly called for dracunculiasis elimination. WHO has certified 198 countries as free from dracunculiasis; only 22 cases were reported during 1 January to 31 December 2015 (Chad, South Sudan, Mali, and Ethiopia). Dracunculiasis will be the first parasitic disease ever to be eradicated without benefit of a vaccine or medicinal cure.