Guinea worm treatment and prevention

If you are going to rest in exotic countries, be prepared to face exotic diseases. Resting abroad, you can pick up a terrible parasite. His name is rishta.

In ancient times, the rishta was called a fiery serpent, and the infection of rishta - dracunculosis - literally translates as "defeat by small dragons".

What is a rishta?

Rishta, or dracunculiasis is a skin disease provoked by the females of the Dracunculus medinensis roundworm. In the human body, the worm, more precisely, its larva, gets into the water. From the intestine worms are taken to the lymph nodes, where they grow and mate. The male dies after mating, and the female settles in the subcutaneous fat. The incubation period lasts from three to eighteen months and ends at the time of puberty of the female. The host of the parasite has ulcers.

The parasite inhabits Africa, in Arabia, in Afghanistan, in India and in Persia. He was also brought to Brazil. On the territory of the CIS, the worm settled in the town of Staraya Buk


Treatment of dracunculiasis

Ristas are recovered only in the operative way. The process can take a long time, because if you damage the worm, a toxic liquid will enter the wound. In this case, the worm's head is grasped with tweezers, and then it is gently pulled and wound onto the instrument. Sometimes the female is sterilized and put to sleep before the operation. Extracting the worm is a fairly long process, since it can reach a length of one and a half meters.

It is easy to diagnose the presence of this parasite: it builds under the skin the strokes that create a kind of relief on the surface, and from the ulcer you can see the head of the worm. The owner of rishta at the same time feels itching and severe pain in the lesions, the skin becomes denser, there are abscesses with blisters. In addition, the patient may fever, fever may appear. The favorite location of the worm is the lower limbs.

The consequences of the activity of this parasite can be very sad. These are various allergic reactions, infection of blood, gangrene.

There are cases of self-healing, when the rishta dissolved in the host's body. This variant of the disease course is possible if the female lays the larvae upon contact with water, and then dies after it.


Prevention of infection with rishto is done globally. To protect the population from this parasite, the following measures are taken:

  • in the countries where this creature lives, water is regularly cleaned;
  • it is forbidden to drink raw water, and before boiling it is recommended to filter through dense tissue;
  • the parasite is the dog and the Cyclops, which swallow the worm larvae, so these animals are sterilized and destroyed;
  • is a record-keeping and thorough examination of all patients infected with rishta;
  • eliminates the contact of patients with drinking water;
  • population is provided with purified tap water.

Fortunately, at the moment, thanks to the efforts of the World Health Organization, there are not so many foci of infection with this parasite. In recent years, cases of mass infection are known only in Africa. For thirty years the number of cases of infection has decreased: if in 1980 there were about three million, then by 2011 only 1,058 cases of this misfortune are known.

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