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What are the Causes and Symptoms of Hookworm Infection?

Hookworm infection is an intestinal parasitic nematode, which usually causes diarrhea and cramps.The infection is contracted from contact with soil by hookworms or accidentally swallowing contaminated soil. Ancylostoma duodenale is one of the common species of hookworm. The species is found in northern Africa, southern Europe, northern Asia and some parts of South America.

Heavy infestation with hookworms can become a serious matter for children, new borns, malnourished persons and for pregnant women. The hookworm spreads through faeces with poor sanitary conditions.

Symptoms of Hookworms –

A hookworm infected person shows the following symptoms –

  • Itching in foot
  • Ground itch
  • Fatigue
  • Malaise
  • Pimply rash at worm entry site
  • Coughing and wheezing when the worm enters the lungs temporarily.
  • When the worm infest the intestines it shows symptoms of diarrhea, intestinal cramps, abdominal pain and nausea.
  • Sometimes when the infestation is heavy, it can cause intestinal bleeding, black stools and blood in stools.

Causes of Hookworm –

The basic cause of the hookworm is the result of an infectious agent i.e., a worm. The larvae penetrates the skin of people who walk bare footed on the moist soil. An itchy patch appears at the worm entry site. The disease caused by the hookworm is not transmitted between people. Following are some of the causes of hookworm –

  • Faeces contaminated soil
  • Contaminated water
  • International travel to developing nations

Hookworm Infection Treatment:

The treatment for hookworm involves the following –

  • Mebandazole
  • Albendazole
  • Pyrantel embonate
  • Kephenium hydroxynaphthoate
  • Iron supplements for anemia

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