Identification of Patients with Ascariasis

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Ascariasis: is one of the commonest infections of the small intestine. Caused by a nematode called Ascaris lumbricoides ( round worm) 

Mode of Transmission of Ascariasis

• Common ways of acquiring ascariasis include failure to adhere to hygienic practices such as washing hands before food preparation and proper storage of food.
• Therefore the disease is related to poor sanitation and hygiene.
• Infection is acquired from ingestion of food contaminated with mature eggs
• The usual vehicles are fruits and other raw food
• Children are more frequently infected and have higher worm burden than adults because they like putting contaminated objects into their mouths
• Heavy infection in children can contribute to under-nutrition.
• Adults have much lighter infections, although re-infection can occur throughout life.

Signs and Symptoms of Ascariasis

• Fever
• Cough
• Abdominal discomfort, restlessness and insomnia (sleeplessness)
• Eosinophilia due to allergic reaction
• Intestinal obstruction
• Passing adult worm in the stool or vomitus
• Obstructive jaundice

Treatment of Ascariasis

• Treatment is effective only against the adult worms.
• The drugs of choice are as follows:

o Albendazole: for children 2-5 years a single dose of 200mg and for older children and adults, one dose of 400mg is given.

o Mebendazole: a single dose 500mg.

o Levamisole: a single of 2.5mg/kg body weight. o Piperazine (antepar): syrup at a dose of 150mg/kg body weight (to a maximum of 4g) as a single dose.

Note that these drugs are given between meals . They should be avoided during the first three months of pregnancy.

Prevention and Control of Ascariasis 

• Environmental measures such as provision of adequate and safe water supplies. 
Proper disposal of faeces 
• prevention of faecal contamination of food and water Discourage use of fresh  human faeces as manure 
• Health education on: 
o Proper use of latrines 
o Personal hygiene e.g. washing hands after using toilet or before handling food 
o Washing fruits and vegetables before eating 
o Use of dry racks for utensils so that they are above the soil and dust 
Identification of Patients with Ascariasis Identification of Patients with Ascariasis Reviewed by gafacom on July 05, 2019 Rating: 5

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