Worms are worms that lead a parasitic lifestyle in the body of their host - a person. Age does not matter. Adults and children are equally susceptible to infection. The classification of helminthiasis is very extensive, especially in countries with hot climates.
There are 3 classes of parasitic worms:
- round (nematodes) - pinworms, roundworms;
- tape (cestoids) - pig tapeworm, bovine tapeworm, echinococcus;
- flat worms, worms (trematodes).
The most common worms in children are pinworms, which cause enterobiasis. These helminths are small in size, on average up to 1 cm, grayish-white in color with a curved body. The location of these parasites is the large intestine, but they can also penetrate the lower parts of the small intestine. Pinworms reproduce on the skin near the anus. At night, female moths lay eggs in the folds of the skin, often penetrating girls' lips, which ends up with infectious diseases of Organs genitals. In total, these helminths live for about 1-1, 5 months. The process of self-infection in a child can lead to the fact that the malaise will continue for many years. The parasites can be detected with the naked eye in the stool.
Roundworms are another type of worm most common in children. Of characteristic species, reaching 15 cm in length, these nematodes settle in the lumen of the small bowel loops, moving towards the moving food nodule. Roundworms enter the feces very rarely. Females release eggs periodically, which can be found in fecal analysis. But if during the study they were not found, this does not mean that the child is not infected. A roundworm's life cycle can last several years.
The baby's curiosity is sensed by his fingers, the child, learning about the world, actively touches everything that comes under his arm and immediately pulls it to his mouth, trying to get strength and taste. Thus, moth eggs safely enter the digestive tract of their future little host.
A child becomes infected with worm eggs from the surface of unwashed fruit when drinking contaminated water. Often, infection occurs when communicating with animals, or playing on the floor, litter box, where dogs and cats like to solve their physiological problems. After a walk, children often do not wash their hands and all the dirt, along with parasite eggs, gets into their mouths.
If a child has been infected with a large number of parasitic worm eggs, severe deterioration can occur within a few days. In milder cases, the first symptoms of invasion appear after several weeks or even months. A lot depends on the child's immunity. It can very well deal with parasites and contain their development. But gradually the defenses are reduced and the helminths infect the body, causing serious problems.
The first signs are symptoms of poisoning (intoxication). The worms' vital activity is accompanied by the release of a large number of animal toxins that can poison the child's body. In the intestines, the parasitic worms use nutrients, as a result of which the baby gradually becomes deficient in proteins, carbohydrates, fats and vitamins.
The child has:
- paleness of the skin,
- weakness, frequent dizziness,
- increased body temperature, headache,
- depressed mood.
Intestinal diseases are manifested - constipation, loose stools, snoring and pain in the abdomen, attacks of nausea and vomiting, painful sensations in different parts of the abdomen and abdominal distension. The disease may be accompanied by allergic conditions: itching, rash, coughing, inflammation of the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract. The weakening of immunity leads to the increase of infectious diseases.
Diagnosis and treatment
Diagnosis of helminthiasis in feces is quite difficult. This is due to the fact that roundworm eggs or trauma do not appear in the stool every day, and the sputum smear technique for analysis requires great care. To increase the reliability of stool analysis for worm eggs, it is advisable to take at least 3 consecutive days.
In cases of greater risk of worm infection (contact with animals, children playing on the floor or in open litter boxes, the child's habit of taking things by mouth, biting their nails or licking their fingers, etc. ), it is advisablecarry out a thorough examination that includes, in addition to the triple stool analysis, special blood tests to detect antibodies against helminths.
In the presence of allergic manifestations of unknown origin, increased number of eosinophils in the blood test, persistent intestinal dysbiosis, it is advisable to donate blood for the determination of class E immunoglobulins (Ig E and G) for roundworms and other helminths. You can check pets for worms.
Assessing the totality of indirect signs and anamnesis, the physician may recommend anthelmintic therapy without direct evidence of the presence of worms in the child, if other pathologies causing similar clinical manifestations are excluded. From all family members to prevent the formation of a focus of infection with each other with helminth eggs. In this situation, moreover, it is necessary to reinforce hygiene measures, in particular, boiling and ironing the bed and linen on both sides.