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Parasitic Worm Infection

  • Parasites are creatures that invade a host, attach themselves externally and internally (to tissues and organs), and suck the nutrients from the host.  Some parasites, such as certain worms, finally weaken and cause disease in the hosts.
  • Worms (nematodes) are long, naked, and boneless creatures that pass their young from eggs or cyst to larval (newly hatched worms) stage, maturing into worms in the tissues they infect, such as skin, muscle, lungs, or intestine (gut or digestive tract).

Symptoms

Based on the place of stay of the worms, the symptoms are produced
  • No symptoms or very few
  • Symptoms may occur immediately or take more than 20 years.
  • At times worms can be passed whole or in segments in the stool.
  • Digestive tract (stomach, intestine, liver, colon, and rectum) with intestinal worms causes abdominal pain, weakness, Diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting, anemia, Malnutrition with deficiencies of vitamins (B 12) minerals (iron), fats, and protein.  Itching around anus and vagina, inability to sleep, urinating in bed, and abdominal pain seen in pinworm infections.
  • Skin - Eruptions, Fluid-filled sacs called vesicles, Intense facial swelling, especially around the eyes.
  • Allergic reactions- Skin rash , Skin itchiness and itchiness around the anus
  • Liver flukes: Enlarged tender liver , Fever , Abdominal pain , Diarrhea, Yellowish skin
  • Lymphatic involvement - Swollen elephant-like legs or testicles

Causes

  1. Tissue Nematodes or roundworms
  2. Intestinal Nematodes
    • Ascariasis (round worm) -- the eggs are found in the feces of the worm Ascaris and humans accidentally ingest them through contaminated soil/vegetbales.  The worms can grow in the intestine and migrate through the blood to other sites, such as the lungs.  They can grow up to 40cm. in length.
  3. Tapeworms: These worms have many segments. They often invade the digestive tract, where they get their nutrition from their host.
  4. Filariasis: A varied group of worms that invade the skin and lymphatic tissue.

Risk Factors

  • Fecal contamination of water
  • Unsanitary conditions
  • Eating raw or undercooked meats or fish
  • Keeping animals in close unsanitary conditions
  • Rat or insect infestations
  • Malnourished or diseased persons
  • Heavy mosquito or fly infestations
  • Playgrounds where children can eat or come in contact with soil

Simple remedies

  • Fluids
  • Rest
  • All family members should be tested and treated
  • Underwear, clothes, and bed sheets should be washed in hot water till treatment completed
  • Wash hands often, avoid undercooked or raw foods, wash vegetables and fruits, and boil water before drinking.

Source: Portal Content Team



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