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The World in Medicine
September 21, 2011

Guinea Worm Advance

JAMA. 2011;306(11):1191. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1307

Ghana has passed a milestone in its efforts to eradicate Guinea worm disease through health education and behavioral change (http://tinyurl.com/3d8moyc). The country has gone 14 months since its last reported case of this waterborne parasitic disease, which means the nation has passed 1 incubation period or cycle and therefore has broken the cycle of disease transmission.

Efforts to eradicate the disease, also called dracunculiasis, began 23 years ago when the Carter Center in Atlanta collaborated with Ghana to teach people to perform preventive practices such as filtering all drinking water and keeping anyone with an emerging worm from entering the water sources. People contract the parasite when they drink water contaminated with Guinea worm larvae.

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