Have you heard of the illness, Dracunculiasis before? Well, if not, then this is your lucky day. This article will tell you more about the causes, symptoms, and treatments for Dracunculiasis. Read on to know more.
What is Dracunculiasis?
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Dracunculiasis is also popular as the guinea worm illness. This condition is usually due to a parasitic type of worm popular as guinea worm or Dracunculus medinensis. This particular worm is the biggest tissue parasite that affects humans, there are people who are infected with this parasite by way of drinking water that’s from ponds, stagnant water, and streams.
Moreover, the ingestion of the water that is contaminated may cause the larvae to transfer from the intestines thru the abdominal cavity to the tissue underneath the skin. Furthermore, the larvae may get mature and then release a toxic substance, which makes the covering skin to ulcerate. After the treatment, the symptoms of the condition may disappear and the worms may be safely removed from the skin.
In the past, or in the mid-1980s, about 3.5 million people who experienced Dracunculiasis. The disease became widespread in various parts of the tropical countries of Pakistan, India, Yemen, and Africa. However, in 2016, because of the worldwide efforts in stopping Dracunculiasis, there are only about 26 cases. Furthermore, they only just occur in few countries in Africa, namely Ethiopia, Mali, Chad, and South Sudan.
How does Dracunculiasis Transmit?
There are people who experience or acquire the condition by drinking the water that is infected by the crustaceans. Furthermore, the immature Dracunculus larvae or worms that live inside various crustaceans. After ingesting this particular crustacean, they actually die and release their own larvae. This is what penetrate in the intestine wall and enters the abdominal cavity.
Inside the abdomen, the larvae get mature and become adult worms in about 1 year, and then the adult ones mate. After their mating season, the female worms leave the abdominal area and then move into the tissues underneath the skin. They usually go into the feet or lower legs. This is where they create blisters. This blister may cause severe and burning distress and eventually may break open.
When individuals attempt to relieve the burning sensation by soaking their own legs in the water. Moreover, the pregnant worm may release the larvae thru the water. Once they’re in the water, they may find and infect another organism. When the pregnant worms don’t reach the skin, they may die and disintegrate or became harder underneath the skin.
Symptoms of Dracunculiasis
The symptoms of Dracunculiasis start in the event of the worm beginning to break through the skin. It is when a blister is already formed over the location of the worm. Furthermore, the area surrounding the blister may get burn, itchy, or may have an inflammation. Furthermore, it may also appear red, swollen and may feel very painful. The material being released by the worm may cause an allergic reaction, thus resulting in the difficulty in breathing, disabling the pain, vomiting, and rashes that are itchy. The blister will soon open up and the worm will be visible to the eyes. After that, the worm will leave the body and then the symptoms will subside.
Commonly, the blister will heal after the adult worm leaves the body. However, in approximately 50% of the cases, the bacterial infections may develop around the opening of the blister. Occasionally, the tendons and joints nearing the blisters may get a damage, thus causing joint pain and some other symptoms of arthritis.
Prevention of Dracunculiasis
Here are some ways that may be beneficial in preventing Dracunculiasis:
- Drinking chlorinated water only.
- Boiling the water that you drink.
- Filtering the water you are drinking by way of using a fine-mesh cloth.
Treatments for Dracunculiasis
Here are some of the most staggering treatments for Dracunculiasis:
One of the main treatments for Dracunculiasis is the extraction of the worm from the area. This is due to the worm’s capacity to get as long as one meter. However, the treatment may take several weeks. This particular slow process is actually required in avoiding any breakage and leaving it all behind a portion of the worm. Well, there’s actually no certain treatments for Dracunculiasis. So, it is better to have your condition consulted by your doctor first before you take any medications.
You may also opt for some surgical operations if you want to be free from this condition. In fact, there are lots of facilities that do this particular operation.
You must get a proper consultation about Dracunculiasis first. This is for you to make sure that you really are experiencing the condition or not.
Actually, there is no particular diet plan in the process of extraction, notwithstanding the time that is involved.
Because of the discomforting feeling, activity is commonly self-restricted. There are some recommendations that are tailored for various individuals, without any specific general rules.