Can You Contract Guinea Worm in the United States?

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is possible to contract Guinea worm disease in the United States, but it is extremely unlikely. Guinea worm disease is contracted directly through contaminated water.

According to the CDC, drinking and tap water in America is not contaminated with the Dracunculus larvae that causes Guinea worm disease. A person would have to ingest stagnant water from other sources. Guinea worm is only prevalent in countries where people do not have access to clean water. Since 1995, there have only been two cases of Guinea worm in the United States. In both cases, the patients had been infected in Sudan. Symptoms of Guinea worm often do not emerge until a year after infection and may remain undiagnosed.