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What are intestinal worms?

Intestinal worm infection is a very common type of infection, which is typically associated with poor socio-economic status and unhygienic living conditions.  It may be caused by whipworms, tapeworms, hookworms, threadworms, and roundworms. These parasites reproduce within the human body, especially in the intestines.

What are its main signs and symptoms?

The common signs and symptoms of intestinal worm infections include:

What are its main causes?

The parasites causing intestinal worm infection can enter the body through various sources. The common factors that predispose an individual to the infection include:

  • Poor hygiene
  • Consumption of raw or uncooked food
  • Contact with infected food and water
  • Walking barefoot in unhygienic areas
  • Contact with contaminated soil
  • Contact with contaminated objects which include plates, eating utensils, toys, toilet seats, bedding, etc.
  • Transmitted from one person to the other by means of close contact

How is it diagnosed and treated?

The diagnosis is mainly considered by the physician based on the signs and symptoms of the patient and by performing the following tests:

  • Stool routine or stool culture
  • Tape test: In this test, microscopic examination of the parasites’ eggs is done by pressing a cellophane tape against the skin around the anus which is then examined under a microscope.
  • Visual examination: By monitoring the child’s anus, underwear or diapers.

Management of intestinal worm infection:

  • Maintenance of good hygienic practices play an important role in the management of intestinal worm infection.
  • Promoting hand washing and improved sanitation techniques for school kids.
  • Education on healthy behaviours which include good health and hygiene helps in reducing transmission and reinfection.
  • Development of adequate sanitation facilities.
  • Encouraging periodic deworming using deworming tablets can help.
  • Encouraging supplementation with vitamin A for preschool children.
  • Providing treatment with anthelminthic medications.
  1. Medicines for Intestinal Worms
  2. Doctors for Intestinal Worms
Dr. Neha Gupta

Dr. Neha Gupta

Infectious Disease
16 Years of Experience

Dr. Lalit Shishara

Dr. Lalit Shishara

Infectious Disease
8 Years of Experience

Dr. Alok Mishra

Dr. Alok Mishra

Infectious Disease
5 Years of Experience

Dr. Amisha Mirchandani

Dr. Amisha Mirchandani

Infectious Disease
8 Years of Experience

References

  1. World Health Organization [Internet]. Geneva (SUI): World Health Organization; Intestinal worms.
  2. World Health Organization [Internet]. Geneva (SUI): World Health Organization; Intestinal worms.
  3. Rashidul Haque. Human Intestinal Parasites. J Health Popul Nutr. 2007 Dec; 25(4): 387–391. PMID: 18402180
  4. Cooper PJ. Intestinal worms and human allergy.. Parasite Immunol. 2004 Nov-Dec;26(11-12):455-67. PMID: 15771681
  5. World Health Organization [Internet]. Geneva (SUI): World Health Organization; Intestinal worms.
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