Table of contents:
- What are worms
- What are helminthiases (worm diseases)
- How common and unsafe are worms
- Ways of entry of helminths into the body
- What are parasites (worms)
- The main symptoms and signs of worms
- Non-specific prophylaxis of worms
- Specific prevention
- Traditional methods of prevention of worms
- Prevention of worms in children
Video: Infection With Worms - How To Avoid And Means Of Prevention
Infection with worms. Worms can appear in a person at any age, although more often, of course, they attack the child's body. The most frequent helminthic infestations are spread not by animals, but by people. Some of these parasites can generally only be transmitted from person to person directly. Others require an intermediate host in the form of an animal or several. Worms have a negative effect on the work of internal organs and systems, so it is extremely important to detect parasites in the body in time. In order to protect yourself and your children from the probable ingestion of pathogen larvae, the main ways of transmission of helminths from person to person should be analyzed.
The content of the article:
- 1 What are worms
- 2 What are helminthiases (worm diseases)
- 3 How common and unsafe are worms
- 4 Ways of entry of helminths into the body
- 5 What are parasites (worms)
- 6 The main symptoms and signs of worms
7 Non-specific prevention of worms
7.1 Basic preventive measures:
- 8 Specific prophylaxis
- 9 Traditional methods of prevention of worms
- 10 Prevention of worms in children
What are worms
Worms are parasites of humans and animals belonging to the class of flat or round worms. Worms have a fairly common structure.
In their own development, worms traditionally go through several stages: testicle - larva - adult. Most of all, human infection with worms occurs when he swallows the eggs of the worms. From the swallowed eggs in the human intestinal tract, larvae quickly hatch, which begin to migrate to the place of their permanent life, where they are transformed into adults. In the process of movement, almost all helminths make true "travel" through the human body.
Only a few parasites (for example, pinworms) hatch from eggs in the intestinal tract, remain there.
Usually, the destruction of tissues and organs and the symptoms caused by larvae and other developing forms of helminths during movement are the most pronounced, in comparison with the symptoms are caused by mature forms of parasites.
Infection with worms. As we said above, adult worms traditionally have a stable localization in the body, and their developing forms more often migrate to different organs and tissues, while their path of movement is often rather complicated.
For example, with ascariasis, a person becomes infected by eating foods contaminated with worm eggs (ascaris eggs ripen in the ground). In the cavity of the intestinal tract, larvae hatch from ascaris eggs, which, within a couple of hours, enter through the wall of the intestinal tract into the blood vessels and are carried into the lungs with blood flow. In the lungs, ascaris larvae grow and mature.
The growing larva slowly gnaws into the adjoining bronchi and crawls along them, first into the trachea, and then into the oral cavity, where it is again swallowed and carried away into the intestinal tract. The roundworm larva, which has again entered the intestinal tract, is transformed into an adult worm. Pulmonary migration of ascaris larvae is manifested by an abundance of symptoms (cough, asthma attacks, an increase in body temperature, an allergic rash on the skin), and the presence of a small number of adult worms in the intestinal tract may not be manifested in any way.
What are helminthiases (worm diseases)
Infection with worms. Under the term "helminthiasis" it is customary to mean a number of human diseases, the prerequisite for which are various parasite worms - helminths (another collective name for these parasites - worms). For helminthiasis, a slow development of symptoms is typical, a chronic course with prolonged remissions (periods of remission).
All helminthiases appear as a result of human infection with eggs, cysts or larvae of parasite worms.
Sources of infection for helminthiasis can be sick animals, people suffering from helminthiases, contaminated food and water.
Unlike diseases caused by bacteria, protozoa, or fungi, with helminthiasis, the number of adult helminths (worms) in the body at one point in an infected person does not increase (with the exception of cases of re-infection). This is connected with the fact that the reproduction of worms occurs only outside the human body.
How common and unsafe are worms
The data of modern epidemiological studies have revealed that every 4 people around the world are infected with worms. The incidence of infection with worms is significantly higher in children than in adults. In children and adults, worms can become a prerequisite for various acquired diseases of internal organs (gastritis, pancreatitis, enterocolitis, cholecystitis), and from time to time lead to the development of unsafe complications and death.
According to the Global Health Organization and the Global Bank, helminthic diseases rank 4th in terms of economic harm among all other diseases and injuries.
Infection with worms. In the CIS, there are more than 15 types of worms, of which enterobiasis (about 90% in the group of patients with worm diseases), ascariasis (70%), opisthorchiasis, diphyllobothriasis, trichocephalosis (60%), toxocariasis (60%), hymenolepiasis are more common. As it becomes clear from the statistical data, almost all sick (especially children) are simultaneously infected with several forms of worms.
Ways of entry of helminths into the body
There are four most likely transmission mechanisms for worms:
- If eggs or larvae are swallowed. In this case, the eggs come out together with the host's feces and, under favorable conditions, ripen in a few hours or weeks (depending on the type of parasite). It can then be swallowed in a variety of ways:
- Alimentary route (unwashed and unprocessed food). Usually this is the use of unwashed vegetables directly from the soil;
- Waterway (polluted water). Most often occurs when swimming in closed natural reservoirs or when drinking water from wells, shallow wells located near street toilets and decentralized sewer pits;
- "Predator-prey". Many worms (most tapeworms and flukes) cannot directly infect humans, even if they are the primary host. Their complex life cycle requires getting into animals (fish, livestock), after which a person already eats the larvae of the parasite along with poorly cooked meat, giving them the opportunity to grow into adult worms and begin reproduction.
- Accidental ingestion. Children therefore get sick most often, as they put various objects and soil into their mouths. But there are other less likely ways to swallow the parasite's egg, such as with a pet flea or by inhaling it after shaking the bed of an infected family member.
- Contact-household way. Most worms take a long enough period for the eggs to mature outside the host. Therefore, an infected person who has just gone to the toilet will not be able to infect anyone with the eggs that have come out of him there - they are not yet dangerous. But he can easily keep others already mature on his hands. Under the nails, eggs tend to stay up to two weeks. Even using a salt shaker in a restaurant, you can get infected by washing your hands before that.
- Through saliva. This is an unlikely option, but some worms (roundworms, pulmonary flukes) are theoretically capable of transferring from person to person even together with saliva or phlegm during coughing, kissing, through dishes.
- Percutaneous (transdermal) route. In this situation, human infection occurs in an active way, when the larvae of pathogens of helminthiases from water or soil enter the body through the skin or mucous membranes. For example, hookworm larvae wait in the soil, attack, penetrate the skin and migrate into the human intestine. Free-swimming schistosome larvae activate this mechanism while swimming in a body of water. This transmission mechanism is widespread mainly in countries with hot climates where pathogens live.
- Transmission path. It is characterized by human infection through insect bites (mosquitoes, mosquitoes and even domestic cat fleas). Most often, they are infected with filariae (filaments) throughout the tropical zone.
- Transplacental pathway. This is a poorly studied and rarely found in the literature way of transmission. From mother to child, theoretically, those types of worms that migrate through the host's bloodstream during the life cycle are able to be transmitted. These include the very common human roundworm.
What are parasites (worms)
Infection with worms. Depending on the habitat of the parasite, the worms are divided into tissue and luminal. Tissue helminthiases include diseases in which the parasite does not live in the lumen of the intestinal tract, but in organs and tissues, such as muscles, brain (cysticercosis), lungs (paragonimiasis), liver (echinococcosis), lymphatic vessels (filariasis), etc… Some parasites (such as roundworm) are localized in the tissues during the initial period of movement (see above).
Cavity worms live mainly in the narrow and large intestinal tract. About a hundred types of worms have been identified that can affect different parts of the human gastrointestinal tract. In the sections of the small intestine such species as broad tapeworm, hookworms, or such a recognizable type of parasites as roundworms live. The dwarf tapeworm, pinworms live in the lower third of the small intestine, and the whipworm lives in the large intestine.
Depending on the pathways of the spread of worms (and their biological characteristics), helminthiases are divided into contact (infection with worms occurs from person to person), geohelminthiasis (the parasite matures in the soil, and infection occurs when contaminated land enters food) and biohelminthiasis (human infection occurs when eating meat of animals infected with worms).
Infection with worms. Worms never breed in the human body. Some worms have a lifespan of only a few weeks (for example, pinworms). In similar cases, maintaining the state of infection and increasing the number of adults in the intestinal tract of an infected person is realized only due to re-infection (in other words, a person is again and again infected with worm eggs).
If re-infection were excluded (for example, due to strict adherence to personal hygiene measures), then a person infected with pinworms would be cured of the disease within a couple of weeks without any treatment.
Other types of parasites are able to survive in the human body from a couple of months to a year or even a couple of years (roundworms, tapeworms). Usually, during this time, adult worms create an unlimited number of eggs, which are excreted in the patient's feces.
A very common disease such as giardiasis, which is caused by microscopic simple lamblia, also belongs to the group of parasitoses.
The main symptoms and signs of worms
Symptoms of helminthic diseases depend on the phase of development of the parasite. In the development of helminthiasis, it is customary to divide into acute and acquired stages.
Infection with worms. The acute stage of development of parasites begins from the moment of infection of the patient with worms and lasts 2-3 weeks (in the case of a severe course of the disease - up to 2 months). This stage is characterized by the dominance of allergic manifestations (rash, dry suffocating cough, increased levels of eosinophils in the blood), which develop in response to the appearance of antigens (fragments) of migratory larvae in the blood. The immune response is very pronounced at the stage when the early forms of the parasite (larvae) are in the body of an infected person.
The damage causes tissue irritation and the development of an inflammatory response. Some rapidly growing parasites, such as cysticercus or echinococcal cysts, being in the brain, eyeballs, liver, squeeze the surrounding tissues, often causing dysfunction of vital organs, which leads to serious consequences.
In the acquired stage of helminthiasis, metabolism is disturbed, since the parasite constantly absorbs valuable nutrients, such as proteins, minerals, carbohydrates, vitamins. In addition, the process of absorption in the intestinal tract of digested food is disrupted. Some worms secrete substances that neutralize the owner's digestive enzymes (for example, ascaris is able to neutralize pepsin and trypsin, which are involved in the digestion of proteins). A number of helminthiases contribute to the development of anemias and avitaminosis (trichocephalosis, diphyllobothriasis, ankylostomiasis, schistosomiasis). The metabolic products secreted by the parasite lead to a change in the microflora of the intestinal tract, contributing to the reproduction of opportunistic microorganisms and the appearance of digestive dysbiosis.
Infection with worms. Immediately with the stimulation of the immune response, the worms cause suppression of the immune system - they need this to survive in the body of an infected person. The resulting immunodeficiency of worms reduces a person's resistance to infections, both viral and bacterial (it has been confirmed that people infected with worms are even more susceptible to tuberculosis), and reduces the effect of preventive vaccinations.
Symptoms of worm infection can appear at different times from the time of worm infection. So, the first symptoms of ascariasis appear after 2-3 days.
With most of all other helminthic invasions, the symptoms of the disease appear in 2-3 weeks. Diseases such as filariasis are characterized by an incubation period of 6 to 18 months.
The early acute phase of helminthiasis is manifested mainly by allergic reactions - fever, skin rashes, edema, swollen lymph nodes, muscle and joint pain. A blood test reveals eosinophilia and leukocytosis (increased levels of eosinophils and blood leukocytes).
Against this background, manifestations of pulmonary syndrome occur quite often, the degree of its severity can vary, ranging from insignificant catarrhal phenomena (cough) to pneumonia, pleurisy, astmoid conditions (asthma attacks). Frequent and abdominal syndrome, characterized by abdominal pain and dyspeptic disorders (alternating constipation with diarrhea, bloating). The liver and spleen grow in size with helminthiasis, manifestations of damage to the central nervous system (central nervous system) of varying severity are possible: fatigue, migraines, irritability.
Infection with worms. For some helminthiasis, special manifestations are also characteristic: for example, trichinosis are characterized by fever, muscle pain, swelling of the face and eyelids; trematodes of the liver (fascioliasis, opisthorchiasis) appear with the development of icteric syndrome, an increase in the liver and spleen.
The acquired phase in most digestive helminthic invasions is often asymptomatic, especially in cases where the parasites are represented by a single individual. Any symptoms of the disease appear only with the huge size of the parasite, such as roundworm or broad tapeworm.
With other helminthiases, for example, with enterobiasis, nighttime itching in the anal area may seem, intense invasion with trichocephalosis contributes to the development of hemorrhagic colitis, and children may show symptoms of rectal prolapse.
Ankylostomiasis is accompanied by iron deficiency anemia, because the causative agent of the invasion feeds on blood. Intensive invasion with ascariasis can provoke digestive obstruction, jaundice, pancreatitis.
An extensive abundance of symptoms is typical of strongyloidiasis, which manifests itself not only by allergic phenomena, but also by dyspeptic symptoms, and signs of biliary tract pathology.
Trematodes of the liver (fascioliasis, clonorchiasis, opisthorchiasis) are accompanied by acquired cholecystocholangitis, pancreatitis. hepatitis, signs of gastrointestinal tract pathology and neurological disorders.
Genitourinary schistosomiasis is manifested by the so-called terminal hematuria (discharge of blood at the end of urination) and dysuric disorders.
Filariasis is characterized by pronounced allergic manifestations, lymphatic filariasis (brugiosis, wucheriosis) are accompanied by lymphadenopathy, lymphangitis and lymphostasis, and onchocerciasis is also accompanied by eye lesions.
Non-specific prophylaxis of worms
Infection with worms. Sometimes it is easier for patients to take pills to prevent worms than to follow the rules to prevent infection. Non-specific prevention of helminthiasis is not so difficult and, following simple recommendations, you can not only avoid infection with worms, but also protect yourself from other diseases.
The main preventive measures:
- Careful adherence to personal hygiene. It is necessary to wash hands with soap on arrival from the street, before meals and after visiting the restroom, public places, contact with pets.
- Sufficient cleaning of vegetables, fruits, herbs under running water.
- Proper preparation of meat. Compliance with processing time and temperature conditions. Drinking only clean filtered water.
- Avoiding fresh fish dishes. You should not eat unprocessed thermally river fish.
- Systematic anthelmintic therapy for pets. It should be remembered that pills for worms in humans differ from those in animals. Therefore, for pets, drugs are best purchased at a veterinary pharmacy.
Infection with worms. No less popular and effective measure to prevent infection is drug therapy. But it is worth remembering that in adults, medications can cause multiple side effects, especially from the liver. And in children, some drugs are prohibited for use. Therefore, you need to carefully select tablets for the prevention of worms.
According to the active substance, several types of antihelminthic drugs can be distinguished:
Mebendazole. Based on this active ingredient, they are produced: Vormil, Vermox.
- Albendazole. Trade names: Gelmadol, Zentel.
- Pirantel. In pharmacies you can find both Helmintox and Nemocid.
The list of drugs is long, and every day the pharmaceutical industry releases newer and more effective drugs.
Not all drugs are suitable for preventing infection. Anthelminthics should not be used on the advice of friends or guided by advertising of the drug on TV.
Such therapy should be selected by the doctor, taking into account the type of the alleged helminth and the presence of other diseases in the patient. For prevention and treatment, the dosage of drugs is different.
You should not drink these medicines uncontrollably for prevention, since they are quite toxic to the body and are used only when the benefits prevail over the negative consequences.
Traditional methods of prevention of worms
Infection with worms. Prevention of worms with folk remedies involves the regular consumption of certain natural ingredients. Over the centuries, mankind has noted in many products the ability to repel worms. For the most part, these are foods, herbs, plants containing bitterness, as well as some spices.
Garlic is considered to be the most common prophylactic against worms. Taking one clove a day, according to adherents of alternative medicine, excludes infection by any intestinal worms.
- Pumpkin seeds are the second agent in the TOP of the terrifying helminths. Grind this product into a powder in a coffee grinder and take a teaspoon daily.
Among the medicinal herbs that destroy worms (tansy, wormwood, etc.), most are not indicated for long-term use, therefore, it is not rational to use them as a prophylaxis. Their components do not have a prolonged action and therefore "work" only when used.
As a prophylaxis that creates a barrier to worms, you can use hot seasonings. But only in reasonable amounts, given their irritating effects on the digestive tract.
Prevention of worms in children
Infection with worms. Prevention of worms in children is reduced to hygienic measures. The child needs to be taught to wash his hands regularly, especially before eating, not to eat unwashed fruits, berries and herbs. It is necessary to disaccustom the child to bite his nails, "try on the tooth" earth, clay, toys and other objects. And also to cut your nails regularly.
Meat and fish should be cooked at high temperature, fruits and vegetables should be washed thoroughly, and only boiled or purified water should be drunk. These simple measures will save you the trouble of the most common parasites.
Find out more:
- Helminth worms. What worms live in a person. Types of parasites
- Antiparasitic cleaning - cleansing from parasites and worms
- Ascaris in adults: symptoms and treatment
- How to get rid of parasites in the body - recipes