Ascaris Lumbricoides Infection (round Worms)

Dr. Ira Shah
Consultant Pediatrician, B.J.Wadia Hospital for Children, Mumbai, India
First Created: 01/02/2001  Last Updated: 08/01/2015

Patient Education

What is the roundworm infection?

Roundworm is the commonest worm infection in man. It is commonly found in developing countries due to poor sanitary conditions. Roundworms in medical terminology are also called as Ascaris lumbricoides. Roundworms lead to blood loss in the stools and can lead to low hemoglobin in children.

How does round worm spread?

Most of the time roundworm is transmitted by ingesting food contaminated with eggs of the parasite. The eggs from larva in the intestines, these larvae enter the blood circulation and go to the lungs from where they enter the food pipe and go into the stomach and intestines and then form adult worms in the intestine. These worms can grow to a length of 10 to 30 cm. These adult worms then release eggs that are passed in stools and contaminate soil which then contaminates the food that we eat and the cycle continues. Roundworm disease is especially seen in children who eat mud (pica)

What are the symptoms of round worm disease?

Initially, the child may come with constipation and mild pain in the abdomen. Sometimes vomiting and nausea and bloating can occur. With blood loss, hemoglobin can become less. If there are too may worm in the intestines, they can be passed in the stools or even can come out from the mouth or nose. Due to heavy worm load, maldigestion and malnutrition can occur. Sometimes the worm may migrate up the biliary tract and obstruct the flow of bile from the liver and can cause jaundice.

How is round worm disease treated?

Various deworming drugs are available to treat roundworms. These agents lead to paralysis of the worms and they are then passed out in the stools. Various drugs that are available are albendazole, mebendazole, piperazine citrate. These agents will be prescribed by your doctor as one dose or maybe six doses depending on the medicine given.

How can round worm disease be prevented?

Roundworms spread due to drinking contaminated water and eating contaminated food. Always wash hands before eating food and after passing motion with soap and water. Also, clean the hands after completing farming and gardening.

Are there any vaccines to prevent Ascaris lumbricoides?

There is no vaccine to prevent Ascaris lumbricoides.

Ascaris Lumbricoides Infection (Round Worms) Ascaris Lumbricoides Infection (Round Worms) 2015-08-01
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