HumBio 103: Parasites and Pestilence
Since ancient times, Dracunculus Medinensis, commonly known as the Guiena Worm, has caused serious pain and disability among the individuals that it infects. This tissue nematode affects humans who ingest contaminated water supplies. Copepod crustaceans, or water fleas, transmit the parasite to humans who ingest them. Fortunately, this transmission can be prevented by using a simple water filter, and this, along with ease of diagnosis, has made dracunculiasis the focus of a large-scale eradication campaign. Although some challenges still persist, this campaign has been remarkably successful at reducing the incidence of dracunculiasis in endemic areas and thus preventing the morbidity and indirect socioeconomic effects of this debilitating disease.