Ascariasis : About

Ascariasis is the most common intestinal worm infection. It is found in association with poor personal hygiene, poor sanitation and in places where human feces are used as fertilizer. Intake of food or drink contaminated with roundworm eggs also causes infection. Here's how it happens: the eggs hatch and release larvae within the intestine. The larvae then move through the bloodstream to the lungs, exit up through the large airways of the lungs and are swallowed back into the stomach and intestines. Symptoms:

Lung signs and symptoms: Mild ascariasis, with only a few parasites in your body, may cause no symptoms.

Symptoms occur with moderate or heavy infestations, sometimes progressing as the parasite migrates through your body. After you ingest ascaris eggs, they hatch in your intestine and the larvae migrate into your lungs. At this stage, you may experience symptoms similar to asthma or pneumonia, including:

  • Persistent cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing

Intestinal signs and symptoms: The ascaris larvae eventually reach your throat, where you cough them up and then swallow them. They then enter the intestine, where they mature and mate. In mild or moderate ascariasis, the intestinal infestation can cause: 

  • Vague abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea or bloody stools

Heavy infestation signs and symptoms: If you have a heavy intestinal infestation, a large number of worms, you may experience:

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • A worm in vomit or stool
  • A worm emerging from nose or mouth