33 Interesting Facts About Roundworms

Here Is A List Of Top 33 Interesting Facts About RoundWorms:

#1 Roundworms, also called nematodes, are a type of parasitic worm. Their name is derived from their “round” or ”tubular” shape.

#2 These worms are contracted by contact with infected surfaces (typically diet and soil). Also, they are contagious through contact with infected stool of animals or people.

#3 They are about as thick as a pencil. They vary in length from a few millimeters to up to two meters.

#4 Interestingly, these worms are the only worms found in human feces which are roughly the size of an earthworm.

#5 They are considered zoonotic parasites. This means that they can be transmitted from animals to humans.

#6 A roundworm infection is also referred to as ascariasis.

Statistics

#7 It is estimated that there are over 4,000,000 cases in the US at any time. However, infection is more frequent in warm climates.

#8 An estimated 1/6 of the human population is infected by Ascaris lumbricoides or another type of roundworm.

#9 The global distribution of cases of roundworm is as follows:

  • 8 percent of cases are in South and Central America and the Caribbean;
  • 17 percent of cases are in the Middle East and Africa;
  • 75 percent of cases are in Oceania and Asia.

#10 Children are more likely to be infected since they put their contaminated fingers in their mouths more often.

#11 These worms are also the most frequent intestinal parasite in cats and dogs. Cats are the host for Toxocara cati, whereas dogs are the host for Toxocara canis.

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Types

Whipworm

Image credit – https://www.flickr.com/photos/ajc1/8211167454

#12 A whipworm infection can occur after ingesting dirt or water contaminated with feces containing whipworm parasites. It is the 3rd most common roundworm to infect humans.

Trichinosissteak beef meat

#13 Unlike other types of roundworms, this one is not an intestinal infection but an infection which affects muscle fibers. Trichinosis is caused by eating undercooked or raw pork and meat infected with the larvae of the parasitic worm.

#14 The symptoms begin approximately 1 to 2 days after eating the contaminated meat and may last for about 7 days.

#15 Due to changes in the methods of feeding the pigs over the last three decades, trichinosis is not common in the United States anymore.

Strongyloidiasis

Image credit – https://www.flickr.com/photos/pulmonary_pathology/5494261520

#16 It is transmitted through direct penetration of human skin by infective larvae. It enters through human skin, and then makes its way to the intestines. It is found in subtropical, tropical, and temperate regions.

#17 Most people who are infected with these worms do not know they are infected and have no signs and symptoms.

Pinworm

Image credit – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Head_of_Enterobius_vermicularis_human_pinworm_5230_lores.jpg

#18 The pinworm infection develops from a pinworm’s egg. The most common signs and symptoms of pinworm infection is intense scratching and itching of the anal area.

#19 Diagnosis may be done by visualizing pinworms in the vagina or on the skin near the anus or in the stools.

Hookworm

Image credit- https://www.flickr.com/photos/microbiologybytes/29301868581

#20 It is transmitted by walking barefoot on contaminated soil. It is passed by human feces onto the ground. It is estimated that up to 1/5 of the world’s population is infected with these worms.

#21 The most common symptom is iron anemia which is caused by a loss of iron due to blood loss.

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Ascariasis

Image credit – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ascaris_lumbricoides_(Round_worm).JPG

#22 It is transmitted from hand to mouth and is generally found in human feces. They are 3 to 6 mm in diameter, 20 to 40 cm long, and live for approximately 1 year. The female worms are larger than the males.

Life Cycle            

#23 The life cycle of roundworms varies between types. They can live inside the small intestine for up to 2 years.

#24 In northern climates, the eggs may remain dormant through the winter.

Symptoms         

#25 Common symptoms in humans include:

  • abdominal discomfort or pain;
  • gagging;
  • chest discomfort;
  • coughing;
  • growth impairment in children due to malabsorption;
  • shortness of breath;
  • unexplained weight loss;
  • wheezing;
  • loss of appetite;
  • visible worms in vomit or stool;
  • intestinal blockage, that causes vomiting and severe pain;
  • diarrhea;
  • irregular stool;
  • vomiting;
  • nausea;
  • fever (high temperature);
  • blood in mucus;
  • aspiration pneumonia (a type of lung infection).

#26 Symptoms in pets can include:

  • weight loss;
  • visible worms in the stool;
  • pot-bellied appearance;
  • pale gums, tongue, and nose;
  • lethargy;
  • itching around the anus;
  • diarrhea;
  • bloody stools.

How Infection Occurs

#27 It is possible for eggs to be transferred from your hands to your mouth after touching contaminated water or soil. Also, a roundworm infection can occur if you swallow the microscopic eggs in contaminated water or food.

#28 Migration of roundworm larvae to the eyes is called “ocular larva migrans,” while migration through the human tissues is called “visceral larva migrans.”

#29 Puppies can get these worms by ingesting soil that is contaminated, by eating an animal that is infected, in utero from the mother, or through the milk while nursing.

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Eggs     

#30 A roundworm can produce as many as 200,000 eggs in a single day. These eggs leave the body through bowel movements.

Treatment

#31 In most cases, these worms can be easily treated by taking a medication which kills the worms in approximately 3 days.

#32 The three primary medications which are used to treat an infection are:

  • albendazole (Albenza, Valbazen);
  • piperazine;
  • mebendazole (Vermox).

Preventionwash hands hygiene

#33 Here are preventive methods for a roundworm infection:

  • teach your children to wash their hands with soap and water before handling food, after being outside, and after going to the bathroom;
  • adult dogs are recommended to have their feces tested for intestinal parasites every 6 to 12 months;
  • puppies should have fecal tests done every 3 to 6 months;
  • use safe drinking water;
  • prompt poop-scooping is an important control measure as it removes the opportunity for eggs to wash into the soil;
  • cook meat correctly;
  • washy the fruits and vegetables properly before eating;
  • be aware of the risk when traveling in developing countries where soil may have infected feces.
References

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/01/170120154254.htm
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1573521411000479
https://web.stanford.edu/group/parasites/ParaSites2005/Ascaris/JLora_ParaSite.htm

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