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2023 Author: Alfred Shackley | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 13:14
There are more than 200 species of parasitic worms in the world that can cause serious harm to the human body. But each of the classes has its own structural features, a place of parasitism.
Worm infestation means a set of parasitic diseases caused by the penetration of helminths into the human body.
Very often, these diseases proceed under the guise of many other somatic pathologies, allergic reactions and surgical emergency situations. All age groups of the population are susceptible to morbidity. The course of helminthiasis depends on the extent of infection, the class of parasites.
The transmission mechanism is more often fecal-oral, rarely contact. Ways of transmission of helminthiases: the first place is deservedly occupied by alimentary, the second - by contact-household.
Causes of helminthiasis
The reasons are quite varied, but they have common features for all invasions.
- Violation of basic personal hygiene: washing hands with antibacterial soap before eating, after using the toilet, walking on the street, communicating with your favorite pets;
- When eating raw contaminated water and poor-quality food: contaminated meat, fish, vegetables, fruits;
- Lack of alertness when meeting various types of insects, including those found in exotic countries.
Different classifications of parasitic infections
According to the place of parasitism, all "guests" are classified as follows:
- Intestinal - teniasis, teniarinchiasis, ascariasis and others;
- Cutaneous - cercariasis, schistosomiasis, toxocariasis;
- Hepatobiliary system - opisthorchiasis, alveococcosis;
- Lungs - alveococcosis, tominxosis.
Depending on the type of penetration:
- Active - in case of violation of the integrity of the skin;
- Passive - in contact with food, water.
Symptoms of helminthic invasions
All signs can be divided into small subgroups:
- Disorganization of the gastrointestinal tract. It manifests itself in the form of dyspeptic symptoms - nausea, vomiting; abdominal pain - dull, aching, pulling; violation of the stool - liquefaction or, conversely, painful constipation; bloating, flatulence, heaviness;
- Allergy. Usually, patients cannot associate it either with the intake of any product or with external factors. This is explained by the response to the parasite. Immunoglobulin E is being produced, which causes allergic reactions in the human body;
- Violation of nervous activity. Due to the fact that helminths irritate the nerve endings, patients become nervous, excitable, irritable, at night, especially in children, you can hear the creaking of teeth;
- Decrease in the level of hemoglobin in the blood. Often, experts cannot find the cause of anemia, treatment with iron preparations does not bring the desired success, then you should think about a parasitic worm and prescribe an appropriate examination;
- The most common symptom is fatigue. Arriving at the reception, the patient first of all says: “There is no strength to get out of bed in the morning, as if someone had sucked it,” without suspecting that the parasite had sucked it out. Living in the human body, the helminth feeds on the owner, he takes almost all the substances that were supposed to go to restore strength and energy. That is why patients notice that they are losing weight;
- Many worms, passing through the cycle of their development, also touch the respiratory system. Therefore, there may be complaints of a dry paroxysmal cough at night, sore throat. In severe cases, it can lead to pneumonia;
- When parasitizing helminths in the muscles, subcutaneous fatty tissue, muscle pain and aches appear. Often, patients notice itchy skin, more often at night. The lower and upper limbs, scalp itch. Sometimes it is simply unbearable, and damage to the skin occurs before the appearance of blood. Then they turn into sores. In medicine, it is customary to call them excoriation.
On average, the first symptoms of the presence of a parasite appear fourteen days after it enters the human body. For everyone, this happens on an individual basis. If the immunity is good, then the response will be violent, possibly an increase in body temperature, bright symptoms. With a reduced immune defense, the course is usually asymptomatic.
Worms in children
Children are such an age stratum of the population, which is most often susceptible to helminthic invasions. No wonder, because it is children who explore the whole world "through their mouths." Their symptoms are very violent: severe abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation. They are restless, capricious. An allergic rash appears in the form of red spots or peeling of the skin. The immune defense also reacts violently to the presence of helminths - whole groups of lymph nodes increase.
The most common infestation in children is enterobiasis, a disease of unwashed hands. Children sleep poorly at night, become whiny, irritable.
They are tormented by night itching in the anus. This is due to the fact that female pinworms crawl out at night to the folds around the anus to lay eggs. When scratching, these eggs fall under the child's nail plates, if he does not wash his hands or does this thoroughly, there is a risk of re-infection. This is called a vicious circle.
To date, giardiasis is already considered not such a rare invasion in children. This pathology is more serious than pinworms. The pathogen parasitizes in the hepatobiliary system. And the first sign of infection can be an attack of an acute abdomen, often similar to appendicitis. Children often get the pathogen from their favorite pets - cats.
Diagnostics of helminthiasis
The arsenal of diagnostic procedures is very wide today. It is possible to determine the pathogen with almost 100% accuracy.
Currently, the following methods are used to detect parasitic infections:
- Stool microscopy - used to identify helminth eggs;
- Various blood tests: clinical blood test, enzyme immunoassay, polymerase chain reaction, serological reactions, hemoscanning. These procedures are highly accurate and specific;
- Instrumental research methods: X-ray, MSCT and MRI diagnostics, bioresonance scanning of the body.
Treatment of parasitic infestations
The therapy is individual for each type of helminth, but in any case, deworming of the body is carried out. Antiparasitic drugs are produced in various forms: for adults and children from 6 years old, these are tablets, for young children - a suspension. These drugs paralyze parasites, from which they die.
The most commonly prescribed and effective drugs are considered tablets: "Vermox", "Dekaris", "Praziquantel".
With the development of allergic reactions, the use of antihistamines is required: Fenistil, Zodak, Zirtek, Loratadin, Suprastin.
- Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before eating, after communicating with animals, after walking;
- It is good to boil and fry meat, fish;
- Do not drink raw, dirty water;
- Rinse raw vegetables and fruits thoroughly before use.
The course of treatment is prescribed by the attending physician, sometimes a single dose of the medication is enough.