Definition of Guinea worm
Note: The Guinea worm undergoes larval development in small freshwater copepod crustaceans (genus Cyclops) which are ingested by humans in contaminated drinking water. When the Guinea worm larvae are released, they pass from the stomach and intestine to the thorax and abdomen for maturation and mating. Gravid females of typically 24 to 40 inches (60 to 100 centimeters) in length migrate through subcutaneous tissues towards the skin especially of the lower legs and feet. At the skin surface, the female worms form painful blisters from which they slowly emerge approximately 10 to 14 months following initial infection. Upon immersion in water, the female expels hundreds of thousands of young larvae.
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