Dr Gopal Subramoniam*, Dr Thiraviam Mohan**, Dr Kavitha ***
Dr Jeyasekaran Hospital and Nursing Home*, Dr Jeyasekaran Hospital and Nursing Home**, Dr Jeyasekaran Hospital and Nursing Home ***
To study the clinical profile of worm infestation in children and its impact on individual and socioeconomic development.

This is a prospective study of 30 children admitted in Dr. Jeyasekharan Hospital of age group 1 month to 12 years, during the period, Feb 2005 to March 2005.

Worm infestation contributed 13.9% of our pediatric admissions. Children between 1-2 years have increased incidence. Though most of the houses had latrine facilities, children mostly used open-air defecation. The commonest clinical presentation was gastrointestinal symptom. Associated PEM and vitamin deficiencies were present. Many children given deworming drugs had recurrence due to reinfection. Most children were anemic and eosinophilia was present in only half of them. Ultrasonogram is very useful in diagnosing worm infestation in suspecting cases. Most of them were cured with conservative line of treatment.

There is a need for awareness of worm infestation, appropriate treatment i.e., regular deworming at frequent intervals.

The incidence of Ascariasis in Kanyakumari district has a recorded prevalence of 20% in adult population and 60% in children. Heavy rainfall, tree cover, open-air defecation, poor exposure to sunlight contributes to the high incidence of infestation. Children are mainly affected as they are playing in heavily contaminated soil. Thus, worm infestation creates immense burden to individual and community. So this study was conducted in our hospital to find out the implications of worm infestation in the community and how to safety deal with it.
  1. Part of Kanyakumari district is an endemic area of worm infestation, mainly Ascariasis.
  2. Recorded prevalence of 60% in children and 20% in adult population.
  3. Ecological factors such as heavy rainfall, tree cover, poor exposure to sunlight, poor sanitation, and unsafe water supply may be precipitating factors.
  4. Prompt diagnosis is based on high index of suspicion in an endemic area.
  5. High incidence of Ascariasis seen in age group 1-2 years.
  6. Poor socioeconomic factor is associated with worm infestation.
  7. 50% of children have associated protein energy malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies.
  8. Reinfection is common.
  9. Diarrhea and vomiting are the main presenting features.
  10. Examining stool for ova is of no help in a community where most children have worms.
  11. Hematological and plain x-ray abdomen were non-specific. USG is very useful in diagnosing worm infestation in suspecting cases.
  12. Majority of patients responded to medical line of treatment.
  13. Open surgery remains important in the management of intestinal ascariasis failed to medical treatment.
  14. Periodic deworming at intervals of two-three months to prevent worm reinvasion or reinfection.
  15. Improvement in standards of public health, such as sanitation, toilet facilities, safe water supply are the main preventive factor as they are most effective in the interruption of transmission cycle of worm infestation.
  16. Pyrantel palmoate was found to be more useful than Albendazole and treatment for 2 days was more effective than single dose.
  17. The cost of Pyrantel Palmoate (10 ml) is Rs.10.30/- and the cost of Piperazine Citrate (10 ml) is Rs.2.00/- compared to the expenditure in thousands when a child gets admitted due to complications of worm infestation.
  18. Pediatricians in other areas of India where there is poor sanitation and tree cover should anticipate and treat worm infestation before complications occur.
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Subramoniam G D, Mohan T D, Kavitha D.. Available From : Conference_abstracts/report.aspx?reportid=60
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