Worms in humans: symptoms, treatment and prevention

Helminthiasis- This is a worm infection. It is recorded in children and adults mainly in hot and humid countries. The risk group is boys and girls aged 5 to 15 years, due to knowledge of the outside world, low immunological reactivity and insufficiently low stomach pH. Target organs – liver, kidneys, lungs. The main habitat is the gastrointestinal tract.

Parasites penetrate through damaged mucous membranes and skin or through contaminated water and food. In the digestive system, the young enter the bloodstream through the destroyed wall.

Initially, the helminth descends into the intestine, grows for 40-80 days, gradually transforming into an adult, which at a late stage of development lays eggs that leave the body along with feces.

Causes of the disease

A person becomes infected after consuming contaminated food and water or coming into contact with dirty soil. Individuals are transmitted to another person through common objects - dishes, toothbrush, towel, forks, spoons, toys.

The provoking factors are non-compliance with hygiene rules, inadequate food preparation (cooking meat and fish at low temperatures), adherence to a raw food diet.

The eggs are brought in by pets that regularly roam outdoors.

Types of worms

Parasites are divided into classes that differ in the way they exist in the environment:

  • Contact. Transmitted between people.
  • Geohelminthiasis. For development, an intermediate host is not required; the habitat is the soil.
  • Biohelminthiasis. At least two organisms are necessary for life.

Science knows more than 350 species of parasites. The following are dangerous:

  • Nematodes (roundworms) are responsible for the development of ascariasis and necatoriasis.
  • Spinyheads (acanthocephalians) – disease: acanthocephalosis.
  • Trematodes (worms) – cause opisthorchiasis and fascioliasis.
  • Cestodes (tapeworms) – tapeworm, echinococcus.

Helminths settle in the intestines, lungs and gallbladder.

Clinical condition

Symptoms are determined by the type of worm, the affected organ, the patient's anatomical and physiological characteristics and immunity.

Stream Options:

  1. Acute.Duration – 2-8 weeks.Intoxication syndrome and allergies predominate: weakness, loss of strength, nausea, vomiting, fever, skin rashes, lymphadenopathy, sensation of shortness of breath, abdominal distension and abdominal pain. The pathognomonic symptom is bruxism (teeth grinding). Appears mainly at night. Local changes are possible - redness and irritation of the perianal area.
  2. Chronicle.Duration – several years.The patient is worried about stool disorders, pain in the lower abdomen, sour or bitter belching, dyspepsia, intolerance to certain foods. Damage to the liver and gallbladder causes jaundice (change in skin color) and hepatitis. Nematodes cause bronchitis, pneumonia, respiratory failure and inflammation of the heart muscle. Penetration into the central nervous system is accompanied by emotional lability, irritability, difficulty remembering new information and insomnia.

Helminthiases reduce immunological reactivity, promoting the accumulation of secondary bacterial flora, cavities, severe allergic reactions (anaphylactic shock) and exacerbation of concomitant pathologies.

abdominal pain due to worms


Parasite residues cause local symptoms (itching, rash with urticaria), pneumonia, cardiac and bronchial asthma. Worms feed on human macronutrients, which leads to psychomotor and mental retardation in the child's development. Whipworms use red blood cells and hemoglobin, forming anemia. With massive infection, patients develop appendicitis, dysbiosis, frequent obstruction of the bile ducts and intestinal obstruction.


At the first symptoms, you should consult a specialist or specialized therapist.

Enlarged spleen, liver and regional lymph nodes are determined by palpation. In the blood count, the number of eosinophils increases and the ESR increases.

To verify the diagnosis and control treatment, the following is carried out:

  • scraping the perianal region;
  • examination of biological material (vomit, urine, sputum, feces);
  • coprogram;
  • allergy testing.

The severity and extent of pathological changes are detected by chest radiography, ultrasound, contrast-enhanced computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, gastro- and colonoscopy.

The diagnosis of helminthiasis is difficult due to the irregular release of eggs, the disappearance of antibodies 2 to 3 months after infection and the diversity of the clinical picture.

Ultrasound diagnosis of worms


Patient management tactics are determined by the doctor after consultation.

Drug therapy involves selecting an anthelmintic medication based on the symptoms and type of worm.

Bronchopulmonary manifestations are treated with steroids, expectorants, antihistamines and antispasmodics. Normal intestinal microflora is restored with probiotics and digestion is improved with enzymes. Surgery is performed to remove the cyst.

After 3-4 weeks, a stool control test is done three times.


The following recommendations help prevent helminth infestation:

  • Wash your hands after going to the bathroom and returning from a walk and before eating.
  • Rejection of bad habits.
  • Rinse greens, legumes, apples, oranges under the tap.
  • Proper processing of products.
  • Drink boiled water.
  • Active lifestyle.

Drug prophylaxis (for adults, children, pets) with nonspecific anthelmintics is indicated twice a year.