Here’s what you need to know:

  • between 574 and 740 million people are infected with hookworms
  • in Cambodia a stunning (57% ) infection rate has been shown
  • Infection can lead to mental problems, growth issues and nutritional deficiencies
  • Infection can be easily prevented, if you know what to do

Background:

Hookworms are an intestinal parasite that belongs to the roundworm group. They’re found mostly in warm climates, and thrive in environments with poor hygiene. The parasite can enter the body through various ways:

  • Through the skin ( by walking barefoot )
  • Through ingestion, eggs can be present on vegetables, especially raw
  • Contact with dogs ( Up to 90% infection rate in dogs has been established in Cambodia)

Symptoms:

Mild infection with hookworms does not show a lot of symptoms, but usually problems with the intestinal tract occur first. Pain and cramps, diarrhea and constipation is common

More sever infection can lead to more serious problems, such as chest pain with inflammation, anemia and nutritional deficiencies. Especially in pregnant women this can have serious consequences, since the chances of death increase significantly when giving birth. Infection in children can also have serious long term problems, such as stunted growth and mental retardation.

Prevention:

The most easy to apply ways to decrease chances of infection are based on improvement of hygiene.

  • Wear shoes when walking outside
  • Properly wash vegetables, especially when eaten raw
  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly
  • Be careful of contact with (non domesticated ) dogs
  • Drink safe water

Special precautions: 

 

When living in high prevalence countries, it’s often advised to use preventative medication every 6 months. The most often prescribed product is Zentel, which is taken 3 days in a row. Preferred is to take it together with a meal containing fat, since absorption is significantly increased this way.

 

 

Disclaimer:

All information, content, and material of this website is for informational purposes only and are not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider.

Please, be proactive in the pursuit of your own health and do your own research.

 

Sources:

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/20/6/13-1770_article

 

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