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Home :: Digestive Disorders

Roundworm

 

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The roundworm is also known as Ascaris lumbricoides. It is the longest worm parasite of humans, reaching upto 40 cms in length. It is an extremely common aliment in Indian villages and towns. Roundworms, or nematodes, are a group of invertebrates (animals having no backbone) with long, round bodies. There are several abnormal hosts that have been diagnosed as having a Baylisascaris infection: mice, squirrels, rabbits, birds, woodchucks, and chipmunks.

Adult worms live in the lumen of the small intestine. Mature female worms produce upto 240,000 eggs a day, which passes out with the stools. With open sanitation a common featureall over India, these eggs find their way into fields where they mature. Infected eggs are then consumed, mixed in the soil especially in rural areas where playing in mud, or working in the fields with bare hands is a feature. With basic hygiene not being followed and hand to mouth fecal carriage, it is inevitable that children in impoverished areas of the villages are the most' affected.

Once the eggs are swallowed, larvae are hatched in the intestine. They invade the mucous membrane, migratevia the bloodto the lungs, ascend up the bronchialtree and are swallowed again.In the small intestine the larvae develop into adult worms. These worms survive for 1-2 years. As with other parasitic diseases, roundworm infections are more common in warm, tropical climates than in cooler, temperate areas of the world. The eggs can survive for over three years in suitable conditions, such as moist soil. The eggs can get into food or water, or onto a person's hands, through poor sanitation, using human excrement as a fertilizer, or inadequate personal hygiene. This worm is found worldwide, with infections more frequent in areas with tropical weather and poor sanitation practices, and among children. Some 800 million people are infected. When they return to the small intestine, the larvae mature into adult worms and start to reproduce.Mature worms can live for up to 2 years in the intestine.

Roundworms (also known as Ascaris lumbricoides) belong to a large group of worms called nematodes. B. procyonis has been reported from numerous states, but probably occurs wherever the raccoon inhabits. Roundworms, or nematodes, are a group of invertebrates (animals having no backbone) with long, round bodies They range in size from those plainly visible to the naked eye to those several hundredths-of-an-inch long and visible only under a microscope. Most roundworms or their eggs are found in the soil and can be picked up on the hands and transferred to the mouth or can enter through the skin. Unlike hookworms, they do not attach to the intestinal wall; rather, they literally swim in their food.

As with other parasitic diseases, roundworm infections are more common in warm climates than in cooler, temperate areas. Many roundworm parasitic diseases result from human carelessness and a lack of appropriate personal hygiene and sanitation measures. Roundworm infections can occur all over the world but is most common in warm, moist climates and in countries were raw fish or squid is popular. Eggs that have been eaten hatch in the small intestine and become larvae. The larvae penetrate the bowel lining and are carried in the blood to the lungs, where they grow to about the size of a pinhead. Roundworms are intestinal parasites that can be passed to and from any warm-blooded animal.

Causes of Roundworm

The common causes of Roundworm :

  • Roundworm can be passed ingesting the feces from an infected animal, through mother's milk to puppies, or eating infected rodents.
  • Onchocerciasis, which is spread by day-biting flies, is the leading cause of blindness worldwide, affecting about 20 million people, mostly in Africa.

Symptoms of Roundworm

Some common symptoms of Roundworm :

  • Cough, chest pain, or difficultly breathing
  • Abdominal discomfort and pain,
  • Flatulence
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Muscle aches
  • Severe cases can lead to pneumonia & intestinal & bowel blockage
  • Bloody or mucus-laden stool
  • Loss of appetite

Treatment of Roundworm

Here is the list of the methods for treating Roundworm :

  • Your health care provider can treat ascariasis successfully with mebendazole, albendazole, or pyrantel pamoate.
  • A person can be reinfected after drug treatment if they swallow more worm eggs, so it is important to maintain high levels of hygiene (see Prevention).
  • Analgesics, anti-inflammatories, antihistamines, and antibiotics - for relief of symptoms or to treat bacterial infection
  • Surgery may be necessary in some cases when the infection causes obstructions in the intestines or other organs
  • Medicated therapy available from your veterinarian. Typically Pyran tablets given twice, according to weight, one dose, and another at ten days.