Worms are worms that lead a parasitic lifestyle in the body of their host - a human. Age does not matter. Both 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;
- tapeworm (cestodes) - swine tapeworm, bovine tapeworm, echinococci;
- flatworms, flukes (trematodes).
The most common worms in children are pinworms, which cause enterobiosis. These helminths are small, up to 1 cm on average, white-gray in color with a curved body. The site of localization of these parasites is the large intestine, but they can also penetrate the lower parts of the small intestine. Pinworms multiply on the skin near the anus. At night, female spines go out to lay eggs in the folds of the skin, often penetrating the labia of girls, which ends in infectious diseases of the genitals. In general, these helminths live about 1-1, 5 months. The process of self-infection in a child can lead to the fact that the illness will last for many years. Parasites can be detected with the naked eye in the feces.
Roundworms are another type of worm most common in children. Of a characteristic species, reaching a length of 15 cm, these nematodes settle in the lumen of the loops of the small intestine, moving towards the moving food lump. Roundworms rarely get into the stool. Females periodically release eggs, which can be found in stool analysis. But if they are not found during the study, it does not mean that the child is not infected. The life cycle of roundworms can last several years.
The baby's curiosity is realized by his fingers, the child, getting to know the world, actively touches everything that falls under his arm and immediately pulls in his mouth, trying for strength and taste. In this way, the eggs of the squirrels safely enter the digestive tract of their future little host.
A child becomes infected with worm eggs from the surface of unwashed fruit when he drinks contaminated water. Very often the infection occurs when interacting with animals or playing in the ground, sandbox, where cats and dogs like to solve their physiological problems. After a walk, children often do not wash their hands and all the dirt, along with parasitic eggs, gets into their mouths.
If a child has been infected with a large number of parasitic worm eggs, a sharp deterioration may occur after a few days. In milder cases, the first symptoms of invasion appear after a few weeks or even months. Much depends on the child's immunity. It can deal with parasites and limit their development. But gradually the defenses decrease and helminths infect the body, causing serious problems.
The first signs are symptoms of poisoning (intoxication). The vital activity of worms is accompanied by the release of a large number of animal toxins that can poison the child's body. In the gut, parasitic worms use nutrients, as a result of which the baby gradually becomes deficient in protein, carbohydrates, fats and vitamins.
The child has:
- weight loss
- pale skin,
- weakness, frequent dizziness,
- fever, headache,
- bad sleep
- depressed mood.
Intestinal diseases are manifested - constipation, loose stools, rumbling and abdominal pain, bouts of nausea and vomiting, painful sensations in different parts of the abdomen and bloating. The disease may be accompanied by allergic conditions: itching, rash, cough, inflammation of the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract. Weakening of immunity leads to the addition of infectious diseases.
Diagnosis and treatment
The diagnosis of helminthiasis in the stool is quite difficult. This is due to the fact that roundworm eggs or pinworms do not appear in the faeces every day, and the technique of smear microscopy from the analysis requires great care. To increase the reliability of the analysis of feces for worm eggs, it is recommended to take at least 3 days in a row.
In cases of increased risk of worm infection (contact with animals, the child's play on the ground or in open sandboxes, the child's habit of taking things in his mouth, biting his nails or licking his fingers, etc. ), It is advisable to undergo a thorough examination, including, in addition to the triple stool analysis, special tests detecting blood antibodies against helminths.
In the presence of allergic manifestations of unknown origin, increase in the number of eosinophils in the blood test, persistent intestinal dysbiosis, it is recommended to donate blood for the determination of class E immunoglobulins (Ig E and G) to roundworms and other helminths. You can check for worms in pets.
Assessing the combination of indirect signs and history, the doctor may recommend anthelmintic therapy without direct evidence of worms in the child, excluding other pathologies that cause similar clinical manifestations, to all family members to avoid the formation of a focus ofinfection with each other with helminth eggs. In this situation, in addition, it is necessary to strengthen hygiene measures, in particular to boil and iron the bed and personal linen on both sides.