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Nematode (Dracunculus medinensis) that is a common parasite of humans and other mammals in tropical Asia and Africa and has been introduced into the West Indies and tropical South America. The female grows to 20–48 in. (50–120 cm) long; the male, which dies upon mating, is only about 0.5–1.1 in. (12–29 mm) long. Both sexes live in the connective tissue of the host animal. Humans become infected when they drink water containing tiny crustaceans (e.g., copepods) that have eaten guinea-worm larvae. The disease the guinea worm carries, called dracunculiasis, can be extremely debilitating and painful.
Variants of GUINEA WORM
guinea worm or medina worm or dragon worm
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on guinea worm, visit Britannica.com.