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General Practice 2023

Verminoses: what they are, symptoms, causes, transmission and treatment

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Verminoses: what they are, symptoms, causes, transmission and treatment
Verminoses: what they are, symptoms, causes, transmission and treatment
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Verminoses correspond to a group of diseases caused by parasites, popularly known as worms, which can be transmitted through consumption of contaminated water and food or by walking barefoot, for example, and therefore, to avoid them it is important to always wash your hands before eating and after using the bathroom, in addition to drinking filtered water and avoiding going barefoot, avoiding not only worms but also other diseases that can be caused by fungi and bacteria.

The most frequent verminoses, such as giardiasis, enterobiosis and ascariasis, for example, can occur in both adults and children and lead to the appearance of intestinal symptoms, such as constant abdominal pain, feeling of a swollen belly and change in appetite.

Symptoms of worms

The symptoms of worms usually involve the gastrointestinal system, as they are usually acquired after consumption of water or food contaminated with eggs or cysts of the parasites. Symptoms may vary depending on the infectious agent, however, in general, the main symptoms are:

  • Abdominal pain and discomfort;
  • Nausea and vomiting;
  • Diarrhea or constipation;
  • Weight and/or appetite loss;
  • Pale;
  • Weakness and excessive tiredness;
  • Very dark, white, or yellow stools;
  • Itchy anus in some cases.

In cases of worms in which the infection occurs through the entry of the parasite into the skin through a small wound, it is also possible to notice redness at the site, itching and an increase in temperature in the region. Know how to recognize the symptoms of worms.

In the presence of signs and symptoms of worms, it is important that the gastroenterologist or general practitioner is consulted so that an assessment of the symptoms can be carried out and a parasitological examination of feces can be indicated to identify the worm responsible for the symptoms and, thus, it is possible to start the most appropriate treatment.

Symptom Test

To know the risk of verminosis, select the symptoms shown in the test below:

  1. 1.Constant abdominal pain Yes No
  2. 2.Swollen belly or excess gas Yes No
  3. 3.Frequent tiredness for no apparent reason Yes No
  4. 4.Itchy anus Yes No
  5. 5.Periods of diarrhea, interspersed with constipation Yes No
  6. 6.Presence of small white spots in stool Yes No
  7. 7.Weight loss for no apparent reason Yes No
  8. 8.Appetite changes, very or little hungry Yes No
  9. 9.Very dark stools Yes No

Result:

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Causes of worms

Worms are diseases caused by parasites, the main ones being:

  • Ancylostoma duodenale or Necator americanus,which are the parasites responsible for hookworm, popularly known as yellow;
  • Ascaris lumbricoides,popularly known as roundworm, which is a parasite responsible for ascariasis;
  • Taenia sp.,also known as solitary, is a parasite responsible for taeniasis;
  • Schistosoma mansoni,which is the infectious agent responsible for schistosomiasis;
  • Enterobius vermicularis,which is responsible for oxyuriasis, also called enterobiosis;
  • Trichuris trichiura, which causes trichuriasis;
  • Toxoplasma gondii, which is the agent responsible for toxoplasmosis;
  • Giardia lamblia, which causes giardiasis.

It is important that the agent responsible for the verminosis is identified, as it is possible that the most appropriate treatment is indicated by the doctor. For this, according to the symptoms presented, the doctor may indicate the performance of blood tests, such as the blood count and C-reactive protein dosage, and/or stool examination, especially the parasitological examination of stool, which aims to identify the presence of parasites. Understand how the parasitological examination of feces is performed.

How the transmission happens

The form of transmission of worms can vary according to the infectious agent, being more frequent through the consumption of contaminated water and food.However, some worms can happen through the parasite entering the body through a small wound.

Treatment for worms

Treatment for worms is done according to the intensity of the symptoms presented by the person and the infectious agent responsible for the worms. a period of 5 days.

Thus, according to the worm, the doctor may recommend the use of Albendazole, Mebendazole, Praziquantel, Metronidazole, Nitazoxanide, Piperazine. Learn more about the remedies indicated for worms.

How to prevent

Depending on the parasite responsible for the worm, transmission can occur in different ways, which can be through the entry of the parasite through small wounds on the skin, such as hookworm, or through food consumption and contaminated water, as in the case of giardiasis and ascariasis.

Therefore, it is important to adopt measures that avoid all forms of transmission, thus preventing developments. For this, some recommendations are:

  1. Wash your hands after using the toilet and keep it in proper hygienic conditions, as parasite eggs are normally found in feces;
  2. Avoid going barefoot, as some parasites, such as the hookworm, for example, which causes yellowing, enter the body through the skin;
  3. Cut and keep your nails clean, to avoid the accumulation of dirt and possible parasite eggs, this recommendation being very important in the case of pinworms;
  4. Drink filtered water, boiled or disinfected with Sodium Hypochlorite, to eliminate possible contaminants;
  5. Wash and cook food well, as it may be contaminated;
  6. Wash hands before meals to eliminate any microorganism capable of causing illness;
  7. Wash household items with potable water, as this water is treated and free of contaminants.

Any prophylactic and treatment measure for worms must be repeated by all family members. In addition, it is important to check the sanitary conditions of the inhabited place, as poor sanitary conditions can increase the chances of having worms.

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