By: Gemma Lagasca
Hookworm or Necatoramericanus is the source of parasitic illness in the human body. People who usually walk on soil bare foot can easily be infected with this kind of disease. Soil contains different kinds of infectious elements—especially if it is contaminated with human feces. The hookworm eggs and larvae are happily residing in the filthy soil.
What is hookworm disease and how is it transmitted?
Once a person has direct contact with the infected soil – specifically without foot wear, the hookworm larvae can then be transferred to the human skin. When the hookworm entered into skin, it will quickly travel up to the blood stream going through the lungs. Right there and then, the hookworm will be coughed up into the airway going through the mouth and will gradually go down through the gastrointestinal tract. The hookworm will be transmitted to the small intestine and finally finds its own comfort zone there.The larvae will mature and multiply if not treated immediately.
Who are at risk?
Hookworm disease is mostly detected in tropical and subtropical areas. It affects more or less 40 million people worldwide. According to NIAID, the United States was once affected with this disease. Fortunately health care providers expedited the resolution to improve environmental hygiene.
People who usually dwell in unsanitary places are most likely at risk with hookworm disease. However, this kind of infectious disease can easily be avoided when the public is aware of its presence.
What are the alarming symptoms of Hookworm disease?
Generally, there are no such manifestations of hookworm disease in the intestines. Nevertheless, once the residing hookworm larvae in the intestine reaches its maturity, that’s the time that some unusual health condition will appear.
The affected patient will sooner or later experience gastrointestinal discomforts. Other affected individuals feel itchiness and swelling plus the visibility of red spots on the skin. Additionally, continuous coughing and other respiratory illnesses will persist due to the presence of hookworm larvae in the lungs.
A person who is positively carrying hookworm disease will have abdominal cramping, nausea, diarrhea, bloody stool, and accumulation of gas in the stomach and also loss of appetite.
What are the recommended treatments for this predicament?
Stool examination is the key to determine the presence of hookworm inside the body. The doctor will ask you to provide a stool sample for laboratory testing. Once the result shows a positive result, the doctor will prescribe a drug to kill the parasitic worms residing in the intestine. Antithelminthics is the common medicine to eliminate the parasitic worms. You should be careful in following and completing the prescribed medications to expedite the elimination of the dangerous parasites inside the intestine.
What are the severe complications for untreated hookworm disease?
Being unaware of the condition or delaying the treatment will cause Anemia to persist if full treatment is not administered. Chronic conditions are more likely to develop—especially with pregnant women and children when left unattended. Chronic complications due to hookworm disease include: Ascites or accumulation of fluid in the abdomen, low red blood cell count that may lead to severe Anemia and nutritional deficiencies.