De-worming (Worm Infestation)

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  • Have you or your children been having abdominal pain recently along with unexplained weight loss?
  • Have you noticed worms in your or your children's stool recently?

What is worm infestation?
  • this is the presence of intestinal parasites like worms that feed off its host nutritional intake


Risk Group
  • most common in children due to their levels of activity
  • people with weak immune systems
  • older aged group more likely to catch than younger age group due to decrease in immunity.


Signs and Symptoms
  • irritability
  • weight loss (unexplained)
  • stomach ache
  • bed wetting
  • blood present in stool
    • Tapeworm infection symptoms:
      • Jaunfice
      • Nausea
      • Vomiting
      • loss of appetite
      • frequent meal intakes and yet malnutrition
    • Roundworm infection symptoms
      • Diarrhoea
      • worms in stool
      • Dry cough with or without fever
    • Pinworm
      • itching around the anus
      • painful urination
    • Hookworm
      • wheezing
      • coughing
      • fatigue
      • anaemia
    • Trichinella
      • chills
      • muscle aches
      • joint pain
      • swelling of face or eyes
      • difficulty breathing and heart problems in severe infestations
      • Death in very severe cases

Types of intestinal worms:
  • tapeworms
  • pinworms or threadworms
  • hookworms
  • roundworms
  • Flukes 
  • Ascariasis
  • Trichinella


Causes
  • coming in contact with infected surfaces
  • consuming food that may be contaminated
  • consuming food that may not have been prepared hygienically.
  • unhygienic habits like improprt hand washing and cleaning 
  • consuming unclean water
  • consuming meat that may be raw or uncooked.
  • ingesting freshwater plants like watercress
  • eating wild meat like bear, pork and seals likely cause for Trichinella.


Lifestyle Alterations
  •  avoid sharing personal items etc that may carry the worms or the larvae.
  • Have clean and sanitary living conditions
  • Keep proper footwear when going outside.
  • Eat properly cooked food
  • Avoid eating raw or undercooked meals
  • Use water from clean and sanitary sources.
  • Wash hands properly after visiting the washroom and toilets.


Treatment and alternatives
  • mebendazole
  • albendazole
  • can deworm every six months where there is risk of infestation
  • other preparations may be available as advised by your pharmacist.


Prevention
  • proper hygiene and sanitation
  • wash hands thoroughly before and after visiting the toilets
  • wash and clean hands properly before cooking
  • cook meat and fish thoroughly before eating
  • Never consume undercooked and raw food
  • Use separate cutting boards for meats and vegetables
  • Use only clean water from hygienic sources
Complications
  • Anemia
  • Intestinal blockage
  • severe cases can be fatal if untreated.












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