Causes, Symptoms and Treatment of Hookworm Infection


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One of the deadliest intestinal parasites responsible for multi-various infections and complications affecting all ages is Hookworm. The commonest hookworms that affect human being are the ancylostoma duodenale and necator americanos species. They are found in tropical and subtropical and live in moist and hot climates. They are transmitted through soil.
Means of transmission

Hookworm larvae are transmitted through the skin following contamination with human feces which occurs by walking barefoot on soil or ingesting soil particles that have been contaminated with larvae. The contamination happens when a hookworm-infected person defecates in the soil or when human feces are used as fertilizer.
Immediately after ingestion or penetration through the skin, the hookworm larvae entered the bloodstream of the body and the lymphatic vessels and are taken to the lungs and finally the mouth.
While in the body, it attached itself to the small intestine and receives nutrients from the human blood which often cause anemia as a result of the loss of blood to the hookworms.
The small intestine is used as reproductive place for the parasite where thousands of eggs can be released into human feces. Despite the presence of hookworm in the feces, personal contact is not a method of transmission because the eggs need to develop into larvae within the soil.
Vulnerable group
Some factors make one vulnerable to contacting the infection, they include:
Habiting in warm, tropical or subtropical region
Exposure to poor sanitation management and hygiene especially if walking barefooted or with skin-to-soil contact
Pregnant women and those who of childbearing age
Exposure of young children to contaminated soil
People whose jobs bring them in contact with soil for example: Farmers, plumbers, electricians, bricklayers and exterminators
Having sunbathe on contaminated sand

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Some of the common symptoms include loss of weight, loss of appetite, cough, reddish and itchy skin rash, fever, stomach ache, diarrhea, fatigue and tiredness, iron deficiency, heart failure, tissue inflammation, thought and physical developments disorder.
The main diagnostic method is through laboratory tests involving stool sample test to find if there is hookworm egg in the feces and blood sample to look for the presence of anemia and insufficient nutrient.



Medications are usually the best treatment option for a hookworm infection lasting for for 1 to 3 days.
Use of iron supplement to address secondary anemia
Prevention is generally said to be better than cure, here are some of the preventive measures to avert hookworm infection.
Avoid the use of fertilizer from human feces
Desist from passing stool outside on the soil
Regular wearing of shoes especially in soiled areas with a high risk of contamination
Desist from sitting on the ground without using a barrier to prevent the skin from touching the soil
Use gloves and shoes while gardening

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