ID#: 8229
This photograph depicts a young Ghanaian woman holding a pipe filter that she wore draped on a cord about her neck. Pipe filters are individual filtration devices, similar to a straw, which allow people to filter their water to avoid contracting Guinea worm disease (GWD), while traveling, or working in the field. Persons become infected by drinking water containing copepods, or water fleas that harbor the infective stage Dracunculus medinensis larvae. Once inside the body, the stomach acid digests the water flea, but not the larvae, which find their way to the small intestine, where they penetrate the wall of the intestine and pass into the body cavity. During the next 10 to14-months, the Guinea worms mature to a full size adult 2 to 3-feet long, and as wide as a cooked spaghetti noodle. Adult worms mate inside the abdomen. After which, the male dies and the female worm migrates to the site where she will emerge, usually from lower limbs.
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Content Provider(s): CDC/ The Carter Center
Creation Date: 2003
Photo Credit: E. Staub
Links: Copyright Info: The Carter Center
CDC Organization
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Copyright Restrictions: Yes - This image is copyright protected. Any public or private use of this image is subject to prevailing copyright laws. Please contact the content provider of this image for permission requests.