Ascariasis : Symptoms, Cause and Treatment

Ascariasis infection is caused by a roundworm parasite called Ascaris lumbricoides. The disease is an infection of the small intestine. It is the most common roundworm infection in the world. Many people with this disease have no symptoms or if they have mild symptoms, they are unnoticeable.

The eggs of the parasites are found in faeces contaminated soil or in raw food contaminated by soil. A person becomes infected after swallowing the eggs accidentally. The eggs hatch into larvae in the infected person’s intestine and develop into adult worms. Children are infected more often than adults. The disease predominates in tropical and sub- tropical climates. However, it is not common in the US.

Symptoms of Ascariasis:

Mostly people have no symptoms. When some people have mild symptoms, they are not noticeable, but when they become heavily infected, they show following symptoms –

  • Fever
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Malabsorption
  • Partial and total intestinal blockage
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Restlessness
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Worm in stools

Causes of Ascariasis:

Following conditions are cited as potential causal risk factors related to Ascariasis-

  • Poor sanitation
  • Human Faeces

Prevention and Treatment of Ascariasis


The disease can be prevented by following some basic methods –

  • Safe excreta disposal
  • Use of toilet facilities
  • Food protection from dirt and soil
  • Thorough washing of produce
  • Hand washing

Treatment of Ascariasis include –

Some drugs used to kill the pathogen are called ascaricides. Some of the prescribed drugs are –

  • Mebendazole
  • Albendazole
  • Pyrantel pamoate
  • Piperazine
  • Thiabendazole
  • Santonin

Always consult a doctor for medical advice about the treatment.

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