Worms (scientifically called helminths) are worms that live inside humans. Worms are parasites, that is, organisms whose life activity is based on the exploitation of the host organism. Sometimes it destroys them: https://pillintrip.com/medicine/iverzine.
Helminths (worms) are the most common human parasites. According to studies, every 4th person in the world is infected with worms. In the territory of Russia 70 worm species are registered. They all belong to three classes: roundworms, flatworms and suckers. The most common worms are roundworms – mainly pinworms, ascarids and vlasoglavs.
A distinction is also ma
e between intestinal and extraintestinal helminths. Intestinal worms are those that live in the lumen of the human intestine, and extraintestinal (or tissue worms) are those that live in muscle tissues or organs. Worms can affect the brain, lungs, liver, and lymphatic vessels.
Several types of helminths may parasitize on the same person, and this is quite common.
Infestation of a person with worms is called helminth infestation. The term helminthiasis is also used.
Causes of helminth infestations
How does a worm infestation occur?
Adults inside a person lay a huge number of eggs (hundreds and thousands per day). Worm eggs are excreted from the human body with the feces. For a new host to be infected, the helminth eggs need to enter his intestines. In most cases this occurs with food intake, for example eating with unwashed hands or eating unwashed fruit and vegetables. Some types of worm infestations are geohelminthiasis. In this case the eggs of the parasite must first mature after being in the soil for some time (ascarids). Other varieties of worms use to mature intermediate “hosts” – animals. These are tetanus, the best known of the flatworm parasites: bovine and porcine. Their larvae mature in the muscles of animals and get into the human body with meat that has not been properly cooked, and inside a man turns into an adult.
The opposite situation is also possible when the human body is used as an incubator for larvae. The final host of such parasites is a predator. The predator is expected to catch the prey and eat the larvae-infested meat. Humans are a dead end in this respect – a larva caught in them will no longer turn into an adult, but also the worm larvae of predators are capable of causing us a lot of harm. Two predatory animals are typical in human environment – a dog and a cat. They can be a source of infection. The worm eggs of these animals enter the human intestines, where they produce larvae, which can then migrate throughout the body. The liver is most often affected. To rule out infection from pets, you should not kiss them, and a dog that can get worms from running around in the street should definitely be subjected to regular worming treatments.
Worm eggs can also get into our body through inhaling dust or taking a sip of water when swimming in a body of water. Flies are worm egg carriers.
Worms in children
Children become infected with worms more often than adults. Young children tend to take everything into their mouths. Walking, children play on the ground and in the sandbox. They can hug and kiss strange and stray animals. They do not care about dirty hands.
That is why it is so important to try as early as possible to instill hygiene skills in children. Young children should be monitored during walks, always having at the ready water and disinfectants to wash their hands and wipe their face in time. And at the first signs of worm infestation should consult a doctor.
In Moscow, such helminth infestations as enterobiasis and ascariasis are the most common.
Enterobiasis – helminthiasis caused by pinworms
Pinworms are detected more often than other helminths (in 90% of cases of helminth infestation).
Pinworms are round, grayish-white worms 2 to 12 mm long. They parasitize in the intestines. Females descend through the rectum, leave the anus and lay eggs in its circumference, and then die. In this case, the patient feels a strong itching in the anus area. When scratching, pinworm eggs get on the skin of the hands and under the nails. Thus, if the rules of hygiene are not followed, permanent self-infestation is possible.
Pinworms have a short life span – 3-4 weeks. In theory, hygiene procedures – daily washing, clean hands, regular change of undergarments and bedclothes – are sufficient to cure the infection. And in a month, pinworms should disappear. However, since they primarily infect children, it is quite often not possible to provide the necessary level of hygiene. Therefore, if enterobiasis is suspected, you should see a doctor.
The main sign of enterobiasis is itching in the anus area.