ASCARIS LUMBRICOIDES INFECTION (ROUND WORMS)
Last Updated : 2/3/1997
Dr. Ira Shah
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What is the

round worm infection

?

Round worm is the commonest worm infection in man. It is commonly found in developing countries due to poor sanitary conditions. Round worms in medical terminology is also called as ascaris lumbricoides. Round worms leads to blood loss in the stools and can lead to low hemoglobin in children.

How does round worm spread ?
Most of the times round worm is transmitted by ingesting food contaminated with eggs of the parasite. The eggs form larva in the intestines, these larva enter the blood circulation and go to the lungs from where they enter the food pipe and go into the stomach and intestines and then form adult worms in the intestine. These worms can grow to a length of 10 to 30 cm. These adult worms then release eggs that are passed in stools and contaminate soil which then contaminates the food that we eat and the cycle continues. Round worm disease is especially seen in children who eat mud (pica)

What are the

symptoms of round worm disease

?

Initially the child may come with the constipation and mild pain in abdomen. Sometimes vomiting and nausea and bloating can occur. With blood loss, hemoglobin can become less. If there are too may worms in the intestines, they can be passed in the stools or even can come out from the mouth or nose. Due to heavy worm load, maldigestion and malnutrition can occur. Sometimes the worm may migrate up the biliary tract and obstruct flow of bile from the liver and can cause jaundice.

How is round worm disease treated ?
Various deworming drugs are available to treat roundworms. These agents lead to paralysis of the worms and they are then passed out in the stools. Various drugs that are available are albendazole, mebendazole, piperazine citrate. These agents will be prescribed by your doctor as one dose or may be six doses depending on the medicine given.

How can round worm disease be prevented ?
Round worms spread due to drinking contaminated water and eating contaminated food. Always wash hands before eating food and after passing a motion with soap and water. Also clean the hands after completing farming and gardening.

Are there any

vaccines to prevent Ascaris lumbricoides

?

There is no vaccine to prevent Ascaris lumbricoides.



Contributor Information and Disclosures

Dr. Ira Shah
Consultant Pediatrician, B.J.Wadia Hospital for Children, Mumbai, India


First Created : 1/2/2001

References

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