Worm infestation is common in children all over the world. Worms may be of many shapes and sizes, from microscopic “pinworms” to tape-worms” that are several feet long. Most of these worms live in the intestinal tract.
Any of several types of worms may live in the human body as parasites (infestation), sometimes causing mild to severe illness. These worms, which infest the blood, intestines or organs (e.g., liver, lungs), include flukes, hookworms, pinworms, tapeworms and whipworms. The sizes of the worms range form microscopic to about 1 meter.
- None, I mild infestation
- Nausea, vomiting
- Weight loss
- Irregular bowel movement, diarrhea
- Abdominal pain of distension
- In hookworm infestation, itchy rash on the feet
- In whipworm infestation, part of the rectum from the anus, with whipworms on it
- In schistosomiasis (type of fluke), flu-like symptoms
- In filariasis, swelling of the legs due to blockage of lymph vessels by the worms
- In pinworm infestation, itch around the anus
- Eating contaminated food, whether cooked or fresh. Infestation may occur when the food is undercooked (not all parasites are destroyed), or even when properly cooked, the food is handled by contaminated hands or utensils.
- Raw food.
- Penetration of the skin of the feet.
To prevent from worm infestation, here are the tips:
- Cook your food well.
- Avoid unhygienic places and areas with poor sanitation.
- Wash fruit and vegetables thoroughly. Peel fruit just before eating it. Avoid raw salads not prepared at home.
- Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and clean water after using the toilet, and before preparing food or eating.
- Wear shoes outdoors.
- After playing or working or (handling) soil, do not put your finger in the mouth without first washing your hands.
- Have a stool examination if you have some symptoms mentioned previously.
Consult your doctor if you suspect worm infestation or there is abdominal pain or swelling.
Your doctor will determine the type of worm infestation and will prescribe anthelmintics (anti-worm drugs) to treat the complications.