If you are going to list down the top most nasty creature people are disgusted to; worms will be part of the list. The mere sight of those long, slimy, crawling creatures can horror-struck anyone and can make your stomach turn up side down. Now imagine that sickening creature living inside your intestine, traveling to your lungs or hiding inside your eyes. Sounds unbelievable? What’s more disturbing is that almost 1 billion of people around the world suffers from worm infestation and a third of them is unaware that they are hosts because they don’t have symptoms or the manifestation is vague. Without the knowledge of symptoms of roundworms in human, presenting signs are often taken for granted not until more serious complications have developed- when the worm multiplied in numbers to cause serious threat. So how will one know that they have worms inside them? Know more about the parasite and the symptoms of roundworm in humans.
WHAT ARE ROUNDWORMS?
Roundworms or nematodes are small parasitic type of worms that infest humans. These creatures range from 1 millimeter in size and can grow up to 1 meter long.There are several types or species of roundworms that can get inside the human body.Pin worm, hook worm, tape worm and ascaris worms are some of the most common parasitic roundworms affecting human. Roundworms usually live and grow in the host’s intestines but there are some cases that they are able to invade other parts of the body like the lungs, heart, liver and even the blood and lymphatic system.
HOW ROUNDWORMS INFECT HUMAN
Roundworm infests human through ingestion of food, items, or products that are contaminated by eggs and larva of this worms. An infected person serves as a host and can infect other people. The worms usually grow and multiply inside the intestines. The eggs and larvae are passed out the body through feces and becomes the source of contamination. Soil serves as reservoir and harbors these eggs and larvae. Poor hygiene and improper sanitation can cause the transmission of roundworms. Improper handling of food and cooking techniques can also cause of contamination. People who are fond of eating uncooked and under-cooked meats also have a greater risk of getting the the roundworm.
Children are more prone to this parasitic infestation. This is because children usually put objects in their mouth and are not specific or cautious with practices like walking barefooted or doing proper hand washing. The infection can also affect adults especially those living in tropical climate and those whose occupation would require them to come in contact with soil contaminated with eggs and larva. Roundworms infection are greater in tropical areas. This is where they can multiple and reproduce quickly. Poor hygiene and unsanitary conditions are contributing factors.
SYMPTOMS OF ROUND WORMS
Symptoms of round worms can vary depending on the type of worm infestation, here are common symptoms to be watched out for.
• PERIANAL ITCHING- Even the simplest itchiness in the rectum can be a sign of roundworm infestation cause by the larva’s irritation to the skin.
• ABDOMINAL PAIN: Pain in the abdominal area is the most common symptoms for round worm infestation. The worms in the intestines grow in size and move inside the body which causes pain and discomfort to the host. As the worm grow in size and number, they can even cause obstruction to the colon contributing to the abdominal discomfort and feeling of fullness.
• DIARRHEA: Diarrhea is also common in nematode infection. Since these worms are not usually seen inside the human body; diarrhea is a common defense mechanism the body initiate to try to remove the parasite inside. Loose and frequent bowel movement can also be a response to irritation of the bowel caused by the infection triggering increase peristaltic movements of the intestine.
• MELENA: Melena or commonly known as blood in the stool can also be expected. Round worm can also cause abrasions in the lining of the intestinal wall. These lesions can bleed and mix with the stool causing streaks of blood during defecation.
• FATIGUE and WEIGHT LOSS: Loosing weight, difficulty gaining pounds or lack of energy and even restlessness are symptoms to watched out for during roundworm infestation. The roundworm inside the intestines feed on the food consumed by the host. The nutrients are shared with the parasite resulting to decrease energy. Depending on the size and the number of worms, it can impede with the absorption of minerals and vitamins which can contributes to loosing weight and body weakness. Severe infestation can lead to malnutrition and anemia.
• VOMITING: Vomiting can also be expected in roundworm infestation. Vomiting is caused by the increase in the pressure inside the stomach cause by the worm in the intestines. If the worms are big enough or multiplied in large numbers, it can cause vomiting and sometimes the worms go out of the mouth. In cases like this it is important to have the person checked by a medical professional because it is possible that the worm has infested other parts of the body as well.
Worms can go to other parts of the body and occupy not only the intestines. The eggs and larva can go to the blood stream and lodge in other parts of the body like the lungs, the liver or the brain or the eyes. This can impair the functioning of the organ affected resulting to other symptoms specific to the organs involved.