Hawah Alhassan, 5, contracted Guinea worm in a village near Tamale, Ghana, in 2007. The country eliminated the parasite in 2011. Wes Pope/MCT/Landov hide caption itoggle caption Wes Pope/MCT/Landov Shots - Health News Slaying 'Little Dragons': Guinea Worm Moves Toward Eradication October 24, 2013 Known as the "affliction with little dragons," Guinea worm is a nasty parasite that can grow up to 3 feet inside a person. A decades-long campaign to eliminate the worm is starting to pay off. There were only about 500 cases worldwide in 2012, and 89 cases in the first half of 2013.