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What is toxocariasis and features of the course of this disease in children
What is toxocariasis and features of the course of this disease in children

Parasitic infections haunt people throughout their lives, and all groups of the population suffer from them. However, children most often suffer from such pathologies, since they play for a long time on the ground and in the sand.

In addition, children are very curious and actively interact with pets, which are often carriers of infections. At the same time, babies do not yet realize the need for personal hygiene and often neglect hand washing.

One of the most common infections is toxocariasis in children, which affects babies and can occur in a growing body for years or periodically recur.

Description of the disease in children

Toxocariasis is a parasitic infection that is provoked by toxocara worms, which are related to nematodes. The human body is an atypical habitat for them. These helminths usually affect domestic animals: cats, dogs, sheep, pigs and others.

The embryos of parasites are excreted from the host's body with feces, after which they attach to the wool of their carriers, from where they move to the hands of people, including children, as well as to the ground, to carpets and other surfaces.

Outside the body of a living creature, under favorable conditions, the eggs of worms can live for a year.

In the human body, toxocaras reside only in the form of larvae. In the body, they behave like their fellow roundworms. Immature individuals penetrate the intestinal walls, pass through the large circle of blood circulation, and then enter the small one and return to the digestive organs. The larvae are covered with a dense shell that protects them from external negative influences. In this state, helminths can stay for 3-4 years, sometimes causing exacerbation of symptoms.

Despite the fact that toxocariasis is a very unpleasant disease that manifests itself vividly, especially in children, the prognosis for patients is usually positive. With timely treatment, a complete recovery occurs.

Fatalities rarely occur, only if helminths have settled in the myocardium or in significant elements of the central nervous system.

Key symptoms

The clinical picture of toxocariasis depends on what type of disease occurs in each case.

Depending on which organs are affected by helminths, the disease is divided into the following types:

  • systemic (or visceral);
  • local: subcutaneous or ocular;
  • neurological.

The clinical picture changes depending on these factors.

Typical symptoms of this parasitic infection are as follows:

  • Pulmonary syndrome, which is manifested by dry cough, shortness of breath, in rare cases - the appearance of bronchitis or pneumonia;
  • Fever and chills;
  • Enlargement of some groups or all of the lymph nodes;
  • Enlarged liver;
  • Sleep disturbance, unreasonable irritability;
  • Lethargy;
  • When worms are attached to the vitreous body of the eye, inflammation of the optic nerve, granuloma, uveitis is observed.
  • The manifestation of allergic reactions on the skin. When probing, nodules are found under the skin of the palms and feet;
  • Decreased growth of hair and nails.

These symptoms of helminthic invasion can manifest themselves in different combinations. Nevertheless, if children have such symptoms, it is necessary to consult a pediatric infectious disease doctor. This is especially true for residents of villages and villages, where children are in free contact with many types of domestic animals.

Toxocariasis: causes of infection

Children become infected with troxocariasis if they swallow the eggs of the worms. This happens when babies play with an infected animal, as well as in the sand, where the animal often lies, or there may be feces. In addition, you can get infected by eating the meat of sick animals if it has not been properly processed.

In medicine, there are cases when this parasitic infection was found in newborns. This suggests that the infection occurred in prenatal age or through the milk of the mother, who is also affected by toxocars. This is the only case when the transmission of such helminths occurs from person to person, since the larvae do not survive outside the host organism.

Treatment options

In case of suspicion of troxocariasis, it is necessary to undergo a series of examinations. In addition to examining the patient, the doctor prescribes a clinical blood test, a serum test for antibodies to troxocars, a biochemical blood test, an x-ray of the lungs, and an analysis of feces for worm eggs. After the diagnosis is confirmed, therapeutic measures are prescribed. The most effective of them is the intake of complex antiparasitic drugs.


Infected children under 3 years of age who have a severe form of infection and characteristic symptoms are treated inpatiently.

In other cases, you can take the course at home, taking available pharmacy products. The tactics of treatment is aimed at ridding the organisms of children of worms and eliminating the accompanying symptoms. First of all, drugs based on Mebendazole, Pirantel or Albendazole are prescribed.

The most popular are Vermox, Helmintox and Ditrazin. They are sold in pharmacies only with a doctor's prescription.

These drugs are toxic and it is not easy to find a safe dosage on your own, so the doctor prescribes the procedure for taking it, based on the characteristics of the sick child.

To reduce the impact of the waste products of worms on the child's body, it is recommended to take absorbents: Enterosgel, Polyphepan, Lacto-Filtrum and the like. They are safe for patients of any age, including children, and are therefore freely available in pharmacies.

If, in addition to helminthic invasion, secondary infections are present, then additional anti-inflammatory drugs are required: Nurofen, Aspirin, Efferolgan. These drugs are dosed depending on the age of the patient.

Troxocariasis therapy takes a long time - from 10 days to a month. It depends on the drug. This duration of the treatment course is due to the fact that anthelmintic drugs act only on larvae in the migration stage. After the treatment is completed, the young patient is monitored for another 3 years: during this period, the child visits the doctor, donates blood and other necessary tests.

Folk recipes

Unconventional remedies against worms have been used for a long time.

They also effectively fight the problem, but they are less toxic, although they also have their own contraindications and side effects:

  • The most popular antihelminthic agent is pumpkin seeds. They need to be eaten in 2-5 tbsp. spoons a day. In addition to such procedures, you can eat carrots and beets or drink juice from these vegetables;
  • Also, good results are shown by the treatment of parasitic infections with herbal preparations from bitter wormwood, tansy, chamomile, sage and pepper heel. These ingredients can be used in any combination to brew medicinal teas. Drinks are consumed half an hour before meals 3-4 times a day;
  • The same herbs are used in conjunction with cloves. The components are mixed in equal proportions and ground in a coffee grinder. The resulting powder is eaten 1 teaspoon 30 minutes before meals, 1-2 times a day.

Such folk remedies are rich in bioflavonoids and phytoncides, which are harmful to troxocars. In addition, they contribute to the removal of dead individuals from the intestines. At the same time, spices and herbs are contraindicated in young patients under 2 years old, pregnant and lactating women.

Despite the fact that folk recipes are very popular and the treatment of parasitic infections is effective in this case, they should not be used on their own without consulting a doctor. Best results can be achieved when used in conjunction with prescribed medications.

Preventive actions

It is possible to avoid infection with toxocariasis, even while living in an epidemically dangerous area. It is necessary to carry out the prevention of helminthiasis in pets. For this, there are affordable and effective medications. In addition, you need to monitor how children communicate with pets: explain that kissing cats and dogs is prohibited, and after playing with them, you need to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. When eating meat from livestock or poultry, it must be properly heat treated. The fatal temperature for worm eggs is 70 degrees and above. Individuals also die when frozen.

If you suspect that a child has troxocariasis, you need to promptly seek medical help, because this affects the prognosis for a sick baby.

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