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Ascariasis

Ascariasis is a human disease caused by the parasitic roundworm Ascaris lumbricoides . While it is the most common human infection caused by worms in the world, ascariasis is not common in the United States. Ascaris eggs are microscopic, but the adult worms are the largest of the intestinal roundworms, reaching lengths up to 40 centimeters, or about 15 inches. Ascariasis is the most common type of roundworm infection in humans, infecting approximately 25 percent of the world's population. The highest rates of infection occur in developing countries. Ascariasis occurs when worm eggs commonly found in soil and human feces are ingested. Each larva migrates through the wall of the small intestine and is carried through the lymphatic vessels and bloodstream to the lungs. Once inside the lungs, the larva passes into the air sacs (alveoli), moves up the respiratory tract, and is swallowed. The larva matures in the small intestine, where it remains as an adult worm.

Ascariasis is the most common roundworm infection in people occurring in over 1 billion people worldwide. Roundworms are parasites that use your body as a host to stay alive and reproduce, maturing from eggs to adult worms inside your body. Food usually becomes contaminated through contact with soil or other objects. It occurs in varying prevalence worldwide, with far greater frequency in areas with poor sanitation or crowded living conditions. Most of the time, ascariasis causes no symptoms, or only mild stomach or digestive problems. But when your body is infested with hundreds of worms, more serious symptoms and complications can occur. The good news is that ascariasis can be treated effectively with medication. There also are simple steps you can take to prevent ascariasis, mostly involving good hygiene and proper sanitation.

Causes of Ascariasis

The common Causes of Risk Factors Ascariasis :

  • Ingesting food or water contaminated by feces containing eggs .
  • Living in southern states of the US.
  • Eating unsanitary food.
  • Drinking unclean water.
  • Preschool age or younger.

Symptoms of Ascariasis

Some Symptoms of Ascariasis :

  • Stomach pain.
  • Low-grade fever.
  • Wheezing .
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Cough.
  • Skin rash.
  • Vomiting.
  • Bloody sputum .
  • Passing worms in stool.
  • Worms exiting through the nose or mouth.

Treatment of Ascariasis

  • If there is a blockage of the intestine caused by a large number of worms, another medication can make the worms relax and pass through the intestine.
  • Treatment includes medications that kill intestinal parasitic worms such as albendazole or mebendazole.
  • Intestinal obstruction from a large number of worms may require further intervention.
  • Paralyzing vermifuges (eg, pyrantel pamoate, piperazine) should be avoided if complete or partial intestinal obstruction is present since the paralyzed worms may necessitate surgery or make surgery more complicated.
  • Surgery is often necessary for IO and hepatobiliary obstruction, especially with high worm loads and particularly in children.
  • Vitamin A supplementation improved growth development of children in Zaire; deworming did not improve growth development.

 


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