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Cough with worms - a double blow to health
Cough with worms - a double blow to health

Worm infestations have so many manifestations, and they are so diverse that we, adults, sometimes get lost, suspecting them in ourselves or in children, even with an accidental sneeze. From the outside it may look ridiculous, but in fact, helminths can affect a variety of organs - not only the digestive tract.

And the picture of the symptoms of infection with them directly depends on where the colony began to multiply.

Causes of cough with worms

In fact, the reason is obvious. It consists in the fact that at first the patient ate several eggs of one of the types of helminths with food, and they began to multiply in the intestines. As a result of this process, new eggs or, more often, larvae appeared. And already these new parasites somehow got from the intestines into the bloodstream.

The fact is that the larvae of many types of worms are small enough to freely enter the bloodstream. This is not characteristic of all of them (for example, the same pinworms can do something similar, but rarely).

However, firstly, parasites are also "canine" or even "bird" (toxocara or Trichinella). And just they, once in the body of a child or an adult, are capable of causing him maximum harm.

And secondly, some even purely "human" species of them do a good job of penetrating the bloodstream. For example, these are the ascaris larvae, which account for most cases of cough due to worms in children and adults.

But the way in which this very child or adult would inhale eggs / larvae with air is almost impossible, since they are not transferred with dust. Therefore, infection with worms of the lungs and bronchi is always a secondary invasion. And the ancestor colony must be sought, as always, in the lower intestines.

Symptoms of a worm-induced cough

Usually, a cough in children or adults is associated with worms only if it is combined with other signs such as itching in the anal area at night, progressive intestinal dysfunction, or the appearance of helminths in the stool. But if nothing of the kind is observed in our country, then the first thing that comes to our mind is acute respiratory infections or flu.

Practice shows that the lion's share of cough cases are really associated not with helminths, but with the common cold. But if we or the child have no other symptoms of acute respiratory infections, and the cough is and develops, we have a reason to think.

Signs of non-respiratory cough in an adult or child are:

  • Absence of pronounced inflammation of the tonsils;
  • Lack of hoarse notes in the voice and characteristic sore throat;
  • The paroxysmal nature of the cough, moreover, so noticeable that a child or even an adult literally walks in with it, turns purple, cannot breathe, during the seizure the gag reflex is often triggered;
  • The cough is moist, with wheezing when listening to the bronchi, the sputum may contain an admixture of fresh blood.

It must be said that such attacks are uncommon for other pathologies. For example, with pneumonia, the cough is also moist, but it does not contain blood and is mild. Lung cancer typically has a deaf and dry cough without seizures, usually triggered by a feeling of tightness in the chest. In this case, sputum (moreover, with caked blood and a putrid odor) appears in the last stages of the tumor and is combined with other signs of an already clearly malignant process.

Therefore, a paroxysmal uncontrollable cough is a symptom of acute bronchitis or parasitic invasion. In the latter scenario, it is caused not so much by inflammation as by the accumulation of larvae in the bronchi, which makes breathing difficult. The phlegm usually contains the eggs of the parasites.

Methods for treating cough with worms in children and adults

Despite the fact that helminths can infect the bronchi and lungs of not only adults, but also children, sparing treatment with folk remedies will hardly help here. And therefore, we will probably have to treat the child with the same treatment as for adult household members - with rather toxic antihelminthic antibiotics.

The problem is that it is possible, of course, to make inhalation with a decoction of celandine herb, wormwood, etc., but it is unlikely that it will make at least some impression on the worms "entrenched" in the lungs. At most, we will save ourselves or the child from parasites that have clogged the bronchi, which will ease the cough for 2-3 days. But the bulk of the colony usually settles not in the bronchi, but in the lungs, so the relief will be short-lived.

As you know, the tissues of the lungs have a porous structure - they look like a sponge, which is easily impregnated with gases. Particles of liquid in the form of vapor are not gas. Therefore, the substances from the inhaled broth, if they get into our bloodstream, then in negligible quantities.

For these reasons, it is better for us to immediately heed the advice of an infectious disease specialist and start oral intake of one of the following remedies:

  1. A drug called "Pirantel" or any other, but containing pyrantel as an active ingredient. This antibiotic is recommended until the age of 5. It is not as toxic to the liver as its “brothers” and is highly effective against roundworms. At the same time, it is ineffective against their larvae, therefore, it will only prevent re-infection of the intestines with eggs swallowed with sputum. At the age of 10 years, it is better to take a suspension, and at the age of 10 years and older, tablets are more relevant. Pyrantel should be taken once, with food, at a dosage of 250 mg (child) or 500 mg (teenager and adult). The tablet must be chewed finely. Pirantel should not be taken together with piperazine, it is contraindicated in pregnancy and lactation, liver and kidney pathologies;
  2. If the cause of the cough was infection with other helminths, especially nonspecific for humans, it is wiser to use albendazole and drugs based on it - Vormil, Nemozol, Zentel, etc. Albendazole is a universal and powerful antibiotic, albeit with pronounced hepatotoxic (then is, giving complications to the liver) properties. Unlike pyrantel, it copes well with larvae, and not only adults, which is very important for lung lesions (they occur mainly due to larvae). It should also be taken only once for the entire course of treatment, at a dosage of 400 mg, immediately after a meal or with it. Repeat after 3 weeks. Within 1 day before and 3 days after taking albendazole, the patient is not recommended to eat dishes rich in vegetable or animal fats. This antibiotic is contraindicated in liver pathologies, except for cholelithiasis, during pregnancy and lactation, in children under 2 years of age.

Prevention of infection with worms of the upper respiratory tract

It boils down to the prevention of helminthic invasions in general, starting with the intestines. Children and even adults (yes, they too!) Need to instill the rule of thoroughly washing their hands before eating, as well as the food itself, if it has not been heat-treated. It must be remembered that meat or fish that we cook today for dinner for the whole family can be infected with helminths.

Meanwhile, it is rarely possible to determine the invasion by eye when cutting fillets. Most eggs and larvae of worms die at high temperatures, but even factory and livestock can be infected with them. Therefore, children should not be taught to consume raw milk and products from it. Adults are not advised to indulge themselves too often with dishes cooked with blood.

Take care of your health, systematically get tested for parasitic invasions and contact a helminthologist for advice.

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