Again it’s time to spoil your appetite with another video by Anna Rothschild from the YouTube Channel Gross Science. This interesting video about Dracunculiasis, also known as the Guinea Worm Disease, shows that reality is stranger than fiction. What is not explicitly stated in the video is that what the worm does to perpetuate its life cycle is an example of how parasites manipulate their host’s behavior to their advantage.
While dracunculiasis is not fatal, removal of the worm is a slow and painful process that can be incapacitating due to secondary infections. Thankfully, the number of cases of the disease, which once numbered in the millions, have been reduced to a few dozen in a couple of countries in Africa. Attempts to fully eradicate the disease through sanitation have been hampered by insecurity and by the ability of the worm to infect animals such as dogs.