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Symptoms of Roundworms in Humans

Symptoms of Roundworms in Humans

Digestive disorders, fever, skin rash, etc., are the most common symptoms of roundworm infection in human beings. Here is a detailed list of possible symptoms caused by different types of roundworm infection.
Madhura Pandit
Last Updated: Apr 9, 2018
Roundworms are parasitic, invertebrates belonging to the phylum Nematoda. They have unsegmented elongated bodies that are pointed at the ends. Some roundworms are microscopic, whereas, some can be visible to the naked eye. Ascaris lumbricoides (causing Ascariasis), pinworm, hookworm and whipworm are the major types of roundworms. These parasites can be found anywhere, in soil, in bodies of animals as well as humans. Roundworm infection is commonly found in hot or tropical climates.
Worm infection is commonly found in children. Eggs of roundworms enter human body through contaminated food, water and soil. They cause infection in the gastrointestinal tract and sometimes, even in lungs. Children are more prone to this infection as they play in the dirt and mud, and are not aware of the importance of maintaining hygiene. Roundworms enter the body if a person consumes contaminated food, or consumes raw food without cleaning it properly.
Common Symptoms
There are various types of roundworms and the symptoms differ accordingly. However, some common symptoms, that are found in the early stages of the infection, are as follows:
  • Weight loss / inability to gain weight
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Lack of appetite
  • Abdominal discomfort / pain
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia (in adults)
  • Allergies
In some cases, signs like that of flu, like cough, sweating and fever are also observed. Anorexia nervosa and malnutrition are some of the relatively unknown symptoms. Following are the signs and symptoms observed in case of infection caused due to other kinds of roundworm.
➡ Pinworm Infection
  • Vaginal or anal itching
  • Lack of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
➡ Hookworm Infection
  • Severe stomach pain
  • Lack of appetite
  • Diarrhea / constipation
  • Cough
  • Chest pain
  • Breathing disorders
  • Iron / protein deficiency
  • Rash
  • Fever
➡ Whipworm Infection
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea / vomiting
  • Blood in stool
  • Lack of appetite
  • Anemia
➡ Ascariasis
  • Stomach pain
  • Abdominal distension
  • Lack of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea / vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Blood in stool
  • Cough
  • Weakness
➡ Trichinosis
  • Fever
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscular pain
  • Headache
  • Pink eye
  • Sensitivity to light
Not everyone experiences all the symptoms mentioned here. However, the classic ones like weight loss, lack of appetite and diarrhea, etc., are found in all cases, and hence, should not be ignored.
Treatment
If you experience the aforementioned symptoms or notice roundworms or blood in stools, you must immediately consult the doctor. Blood, urine and stool test, X-ray, etc., helps in diagnosing the infection. Treatment of roundworms is possible with the help of anti-parasitic drugs. These medication vary according to the type of roundworm found in the body, and are highly effective in managing and expelling them from the body. However, pregnant women and people suffering from chronic diseases are advised against the use of these drugs. Pregnant women should consult the doctor before taking any medications.
On the other hand, it is essential to note that the infection of roundworms in humans can be chronic. Therefore, if you experience the symptoms even after being treated, you will have to undergo other treatment for the complete extermination of the worms. In severe cases, surgical methods may be used, in case the infection causes intestinal obstruction.
Prevention
► As mentioned above, roundworms can enter the human body from contaminated food, water and soil. Therefore, it is necessary to follow good hygiene habits like washing hands before having meals, or after using the bathroom, etc.
► Similarly, having a bath every day, wearing clean clothes and disposing waste regularly from the house is essential. Children should especially be encouraged to follow the habits of cleanliness and hygiene.
► On the other hand, you should also have nutritious and balanced diet, and eat clean and hygienic food to avoid roundworm infection through food. It is recommended to avoid eating uncooked or leftover food, specially chicken, pork and game.
► You should make sure that you wash fruits and vegetables before eating or cooking them. Secondly, water used for cooking or for cleaning kitchenware should be clean.
Deworming a pet regularly is essential. Although the infection cannot pass from animals to humans directly, deworming helps in preventing the infection.
Roundworm infection does not spread from one person to the other. Lastly, you should remember that although it is possible to treat roundworms in humans, prevention is the best cure. Therefore, you must follow all the precautionary measures to avoid this infection. Take care!
Disclaimer: This information is meant for educational purposes only. It is not to be substituted for proper medical advice and consultation.