Hookworm

Hookworm is a nematode infestation affecting the small intestine and lungs. The worms are about 1/2 inch long.

Causative agent–

  • Necator americanus

  • Ancylostoma duodenale

  • Ancylostoma ceylanicum

  • Ancylostoma braziliense

Transmission—

The larvae penetrate the skin, migrate to the lungs via the bloodstream. They enter the alveoli,pass up the air passages and down the oesophagus to reach the jejunum.There they develop into adult worms. Adult worms and larvae are excreted in the feces.

Symptoms And Signs–

  • Abdominal pain or cramping
  • Blood-tinged sputum
  • Bloody stool ( red, black,tarry)
  • Cough
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Itchy rash
  • lightheadedness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea with or without vomiting
  • Oedema of feet
  • Pale skin or pallor
  • Shortness of breath

Investigations—

  • Full blood count
  • Stool test for ova and cyst

Treatment–

De-worming medicines

Complications–

  • Anemia
  • Ascites
  • Other nutritional deficiencies

Prevention–

Improvement in sanitation

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