Ascariasis – What It Is, Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

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Ascariasis – What it is, Causes, Symptoms and Treatments that many do not know. In addition, ascariasis is the result of infestation of the helminth Ascaris lumbricoides in the body and is most often found in the intestine. Approximately 25% of the world’s population has Ascariasis , such occurrences being typical of regions where sanitation is poor.

This pathogen, popularly known as roundworm , has a cylindrical and elongated body, and can reach up to 40 centimeters in length. Females are larger and more robust than males; and they have the curled tail. Surprisingly, a single host can have up to 600 of these individuals.

The female Ascaris lumbricoides can, in a proper place, even produce about 200,000 eggs a day. Some of these eggs are eliminated through the host feces. When another person comes into contact with these eggs, whether due to contaminated food, water or soil, for example, a new evolutionary cycle begins.

Ingested eggs fall into the gut. The larvae break free and rupture the wall of this organ toward the bloodstream. They make their way through the liver, through the heart and lungs . After reaching various parts of the respiratory system, they migrate to the digestive tract. There they evolve into adulthood and, at the right time, reproduce. Giving rise to new eggs that will be released by the feces.

Symptoms For Ascariasis:

Depending on where they are, the larvae generate different complications in the body. Because it has a pulmonary cycle,  Ascariasis generates symptoms quite characteristic with those of pulmonary infections. At the end of the evolutionary cycle, when they reach the intestines, they are in adulthood and cause other symptoms. We can highlight complications such as:

Breathing difficulty;

Nausea;

Vomiting ;

Dry cough;

Fever;

Abdominal pain;

Diarrhea ;

Lack of appetite;

Flatulence;

Intestinal obstruction when the number of worms is large.

In some people it may occur that no symptoms are detected. In children, if Ascariasis  contamination is excessive, there is even a danger of death. One should therefore always be aware of any signals the body may be sending and perform routine examinations whenever possible.

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Causes For Ascariasis:

People become infected with ascariasis by consuming food or drink contaminated with roundworm eggs . Ascariasis is the most common intestinal parasite infection. Ascariasis is related to poor personal hygiene and sanitation. People living in places where human feces are used as fertilizer are also at risk for this disease. Once consumed, the hatching of eggs and worms release immature larvae called inside the small intestine. Within a few days, the larvae then move through the bloodstream to the lungs .

Ascariasis travels through the large airways of the lungs , and are swallowed back into the stomach and reach the small intestine. Like the movement of the larvae through the lungs  it can cause a rare form of pneumonia called eosinophilic pneumonia. Once Ascariasis  is back in the small intestine, the larvae mature into adult worms .

The  Ascariasis adults live in the small intestine, where they lay eggs that are present in the stool. They can live 10-24 months. It is estimated that 1 billion people are infected worldwide. Ascariasis occurs in people of all ages, although children are affected more severely than adults.

Treatment For Ascariasis:

Treatment for Ascariasis  includes medicines that paralyze or kill intestinal parasitic worms , such as albendazole or mebendazole. These medications should not be used for pregnant patients. Pirantel pamoate is the preferred drug for pregnant patients. If there is a bowel blockage caused by a large number of worms , endoscopy can be used to remove the worms. In rare cases, surgery is required.

Patients should be rechecked at 3 months. It involves examining the feces for worm eggs . If eggs are present, treatment for  Ascariasis should be given again.

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