Hookworm Disease

December 22 20:58 2019 Print This Article

Hookworm is an intestinal parasite of humans that usually causes mild diarrhea or cramps. Two types of hookworm are responsible for hookworm disease in humans. These diseases affect not only poverty-stricken peoples in remote areas of the world, but they also can be important health problems for people throughout the world, including the United States. The largest numbers of cases occur in impoverished rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, South-East Asia and China.

Hookworms enter the body by burrowing through the skin of the feet or by being eaten. Worldwide, hookworm infects an estimated 740 million people, most of whom are asymptomatic. A parasite is a living being or organism that exists by depending on another organism. The adult worm of both Necator americanus and Ancylostoma duodenale is about 10 mm long, pinkish-white in color, and curved into an S-shape or double hook.

Hookworms have a complex life cycle that begins and ends in the small intestine. Both types of hookworm have similar life cycles. The females produce about 10,000-20,000 eggs per day. Many Mississippians simply did not know how proper sanitary waste disposal and clean-living conditions could prevent diseases. Most roundworm eggs or larvae are found in the soil and can be picked up on the hands and transferred to the mouth or can enter through the skin.

The presence of between 40 and 160 adult hookworms in the human intestine results in blood loss sufficient to cause anaemia and malnutrition. A duodenale is more geographically restricted than N americanus but one of several anthropophilic members of the genus Ancylostoma. Most roundworms or their eggs are found in the soil and can be picked up on the hands and transferred to the mouth or can enter through the skin. A hookworm infestation is treated with medication to kill the worms. Treatment for anemia is sometimes also needed.

Causes of Hookworm Disease

The comman causes of Hookworm Disease include the following:

  • Poor sanitation and poverty are well-documented risk factors for hookworm infection.
  • Unsafe injection practises in medical settings.
  • Indoor smoke from biofuels.
  • Comman cold.
  • The disorder is caused by infestation with the roundworms Necator americanus, Ancylostoma duodenale, Ancylostoma ceylanicum, or Ancylostoma braziliense.
  • Blood pressure.
  • Asthma.
  • Alcohol.
  • Tobacco.
  • Lack of fruit and vegetable intake.

Symptoms of Hookworm Disease

Some sign and symptoms related to Hookworm Disease are as follows:

  • Itching and a rash at the site of where skin touched soil or sand is usually the first sign of infection.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Weight loss.
  • The skin in this area may become red and swollen.
  • Mild cough, dysphagia, and fever may occur during pulmonary migration.
  • Wheezing.
  • Patients with severe anemia may have fatigue, syncope, or exertional dyspnea. They may also have a history of perverted taste and pica.
  • Abdominal discomfort.
  • Increased gas production.
  • Pallor.

Treatment of Hookworm Disease

Here is list of the methods for treating Hookworm Disease:

  • In the United States, chemotherapeutics available for treatment of hookworm disease include the benzimidazoles, mebendazole and albendazole, and pyrantel pamoate.
  • Using clean underclothing, night clothes, and bed sheets.
  • Iron supplements will be ordered if you have anemia.
  • Children should be required to wear shoes when playing outside in such areas, and people who are gardening should wear gloves.
  • Nutritional support, including folate supplementation, may also be beneficial, especially if the patient is malnourished.
  • To relieve intense itching that often accompanies pinworm infection, a doctor may prescribe a soothing ointment or cream.