Hookworm Disease - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Hookworm is a parasitic intestinal infection. A disease resulting from infestation with hookworms and usually marked by abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, and anemia. It may be caused most commonly by necator americanus or ancylostoma duodenale.Individuals may be asymptomatic and be carriers. infection occurs when the larvae invade exposed skin, most commonly the feet.
In the United States, hookworm disease is most common in the sontheast. Although this disease can cause cardiopulmonary complications, it's seldom fatal, except in debilitated people and infants under age 1. Hookworm is also known as uncinariasis.
An intestinal parasite that usually causes diarrhea or cramps. Heavy infestation with hookworm can be serious for newborns, children, pregnant women, and persons who are malnourished. Hookworm infections occur mainly in tropical and subtropical climates and affect about 1 billion people. The larvae (immature form of the worm) penetrate the skin, where an itchy rash called ground itch may develop. The larvae migrate to the lungs via the bloodstream, enter the airways and cause coughing. Contact among children in institutional or child care settings should not increase the risk of infection.
Both forms of hookworm disease are transmitted to humans through direct skin penetration (usually in the foot) by hookwonn larvae in soil contaminated with feces that contain hookworm ova. These ova develop into infectious larvae in 1 to 3 days. However, iron deficiency anemia caused by loss of blood may result from heavy infestation.
Most cases of hookworm disease produce few symptoms may be overlooked until worms are passed in stools.
The other symptoms of the hookworm may be included:
For children under the age of 2, the decision to treat should be made by their health care provider.
Symptoms and complications of anemia are treated as they arise. There is often a recommendation made to increase the amount of protein in the diet to improve nutrition.
The usual treatment for hookworm infection includes administering an anthelmintic, such as mebendazole, albendazole, levamisole, and pyrantel.To prevent hookworm, do not walk barefoot or contact the soil with bare hands in areas where hookworm is common or there are likely to be feces in the soil or sand.
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