Foot worm parasite also known as Hookworms are intestinal parasites that survive on other living things. They always affect the skin, small intestines and the skin. People get hookworm infection through touching or getting into contact with dirty containing hookworm larvae or feces. It has been discovered that 576 to 740 people have been infected by hookworms, around the globe. It normally affects people in growing nations mostly in sub-tropical and in tropical areas because of bad hygiene.
LIFE CYCLE OF A HOOKWORM
The cutaneous larval migrans is a hookworm species infection which never makes use of people as absolute host, A. caninum and A. brazilienes are hookworm parasites that infect people. There cutaneous larval migrans normally attack cats and dogs. The cycle in cats and dogs is similar with the cycle in human beings. In the first stage of the cycle, eggs are passed in the feces, and when the environment is favorable the larvae hatches in one or two days. The larvae that develops in the stool or the soil in stage two matures in five to ten days. In the third stage of the life cycle, the matured larvae are able to live for three to four weeks in favorable environment conditions. After being contacted by a person or an animal. Then at life cycle stage four, the larva enters the skin of a person and is moved through the blood veins to the heart and to the lungs afterwards. The larvae continues to the small intestines where they get hold of the intestinal walls. In stage five of the life cycle, people may also be infected as the larvae enters through the skin. And at stage six of the life cycle the larvae can no continue to grow in a person’s body but moves without cause in the skin.
HOW IT INFECTS HUMANS AND ANIMALS
The hookworm infection is normally caused by dirty living conditions and habits. Hookworm infection is normally spread through infected animal (cats and dog) feces and human feces. The larvae in the feces move into the soil were they are then consumed by somebody or contacted through the skin of a person. Therefore the following are the ways through which the hookworm is contacted through the skin;
- Through individuals walking with naked foot in the dirty soil.
- Through taking a bath in hookworm contaminated water.
- Through touching contaminated soil and this may be through gardening or kids playing with the soil.
- Laying the beach sand having infected feces.
Humans or animals can also get infected directly through consuming or eating, in the following ways;
- Through eating uncooked foods like vegetables and fruits without washing them first.
- Eating of food with unwashed and contaminated hands after touching hookworm infected soil.
- When dogs or cats ingest food remainings and leaves or anything, from the infected soil.
SYMPTOMS AFTER ONE IS INFECTED
If a person gets any symptoms, they normally begin with little rash and then itching which comes through an allergic reaction in parts of the body that the hookworm larvae entered. After a while, the person gets diarrhea and in the process the hookworms grow in the individual’s intestine. Hookworm infection also causes abdominal pain, it also causes a nausea and vomiting, indigestion, abdominal distension with ascites and emaciation (emaciation is too much losing of weight, adipose tissue and fat under the skin). The hookworms also move to the eyes and cause a parasitic disease infection to the retina. Hookworm infection can also cause blindness and also cause an inflammation of the vitreous body. It may also cause a reduction or narrowing of the retinal arterial, atrophy and electroretinographic changes. Hookworm infection can also lead to the failing of the heart in case it is too much. It can cause stunted growth to the both the body and the brain. It may also cause a fever, high temperatures, and chest pain and also causes reduced levels of proteins in the blood hence resulting to peripheral edema. In case of long period infection, anemia may be caused resulting to turning of the skin to a green and yellowish color.
HOOKWORM ALLERGY TREATMENT
Mebendazole tablets are normally used for extinguishing the mature hookworm parasite in the intestine and Albendazole is useful for curing the disease in case the worm is in the skin or the intestine as well. Pyrantel and levamisole are other important drugs or medicine is a part in the hookworm therapy.
There may be a different medicine recommended for a pregnant woman and a lactating woman due to the sensitivity of the medicine and the measure of the infection.
Medicines such as thiabendazole is used mostly to kill the larvae in the skin. And while the hookworm parasite is still existing in the skin, and still causing rashes and itching, cryotherapy may be applied to kill the parasite. A stool inspection must be done in two weeks once the treatment is complete.
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