Ascariasis is a human parasitic infection caused by the roundworm ascaris lumbricoides. Ascariasis is the most common human parasitic infection. Ascariasis is occurring worldwide and prevalent especially in densely-populated countries where sanitation and hygiene are poor.
It is estimated that around 1 billion people or nearly 1 out of every six people suffer from ascariasis infection worldwide. On the contrary, ascariasis infections in the United States are rare due to strict sanitation guidelines.
Ascariasis worms are commonly found in soil and feces. A male ascariasis worm can range from 5.9 to 9.8 inches in length while female ascariasis worms range from 9.8 to 13.8 inches. Ascariasis worms multiply quickly. A female ascariasis worm can produce up to 240,000 eggs in a day.
Ascariasis infection is caused by the ingestion of food which has been contaminated by natural fertilizers, specifically human and animal feces that contains ascaris eggs. Once swallowed, the ascariasis eggs develop and the ascariasis roundworms grow inside the human intestine.
Needles to say, children are more likely to suffer from ascariasis infection compared to adults. That is because children have smaller intestines. Thus, being more at risk for intestine infection.
Most ascariasis infections do not show any symptoms. Nevertheless, in some rare and serious cases, a person who is suffering from ascariasis display several symptoms which include the following.
Fever and vomiting
Fever and vomiting are two of the most common symptoms of ascariasis infection in humans. People who are suffering from ascariasis may display episodes of fever and vomiting due to the parasites inside their intestines.
Loss of appetite
Loss of appetite is another common symptom of ascariasis infection in humans. Similarly, those who suffer from ascariasis also experienced stomach pains that ultimately results to loss of appetite.
Abdominal pain may take the form of shortness of breath, swelling of the abdomen, intestinal blockage and blockage of the binary tract including the liver and gallbladder. Abdominal pain is experienced by patients suffering from a more serious case of ascariasis infection.
Apart from the aforementioned symptoms, other signs of ascariasis infections include worms in stool, coughing of worms and wheezing.
The most effective way to prevent the spread of ascariasis infection is to observe good sanitation. More so, a clean and healthy environment is the best weapon against such parasitic disease.
Treatments of ascariasis include prescriptions of drugs such as albendazole and mebendazole – two of the most effective drugs used to cure parasitic infestation.