Roundworm: Hookworm

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by JariceBethea
Last updated 5 years ago

Health & Fitness

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Roundworm: Hookworm

The Necator americanus hookworm is the most common cause of this condition in the United States. The other type that causes infections in humans is Ancylostoma duodenale. There are two other types of hookworms, but they mainly affect animals. The eggs of these hookworms end up on the ground after passing through human feces. They hatch into larvae, which stay in the soil until they have a chance to break through human skin.



Interesting Facts

Mode of Transmission

Roundworm: Hookworm(Helminths)

S/Sn of Hookworm Infection


A helminth is a worm classified as a parasite. A parasite is a disease-causing organism that lives on or in a human or another animal and derives. Helminths is just ageneral term meaning ‘worm’, but there are many different types of worms.

The hookworm is a soil-transmitted diease. It is spread through indirect contact with contaminated feces of an infected human, cat, or dog. You can become infected with hookworms by coming into contact with soil that contains their eggs or larvae.

Some people may not have any symptoms from the infection. Symptoms if experienced, generally start with itchiness and a small rash caused by an allergic reaction as the larvae enters your skin. The most important and deadliest symptom of hookworm infection is the development of anemia. Anemia is characterized by a low red blood cell count, which can lead to heart failure in severe cases. Anemia results from hookworms feeding on your blood. You’re more at risk of having severe anemia if you also don’t eat well, are pregnant, or have malaria. Other lesser symptoms of hookworms include:• abdominal pain• visual apperance of worms under skin• intestinal cramps/diarrhea• nausea/appetite loss• fever• blood in your stool

Your doctor will prescribe medications that will destroy parasites, such as albendazole and mebendazole. These medications are generally taken for one to three days to treat the infection. Your doctor might also have you take an iron supplement if you have anemia.

1. According to the CDC, an estimated 576 to 740 million people in the world are infected with hookworms.2. They affect both human and animals.

The hookworm is classified more specifically as a nemat-helminths, or roundworms. People who live in warm climates, in areas with poor hygiene and sanitation, or walk barefoot are more at risk of suffering from hookworm infections.

The larvae have teeth like structures that allow them to penertrate through your skin, (most commonly the foot). They then travel through your bloodstream, and enter your lungs. They also travel to your windpipe and are carried to your small intestine when you cough and then swallow. Fully grown, they can live in your small intestine for a year or more before passing through your feces.

Properly diposing of human and animal wastes will help prevent hookworm infections. You can also lower your risk of becoming infected with hookworms by wearing shoes when you walk outdoors, especially in areas that might have feces in the soil.


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