Whipworm infection can cause anemia, these are the symptoms and how to prevent it

Whipworm infection can cause anemia, these are the symptoms and how to prevent it. Trichiura is a parasitic nematode that infects the human intestine. As the name implies, the trichuris trichiura worm has a whip-like shape. The whipworm will bury its threadlike front into the intestinal wall and get its food from the tissue.

Whipworms can be found all over the world, especially in countries with warm and humid climates such as the tropics in Asia. Generally, whipworm outbreaks are caused by direct contamination of the soil where whipworms live or vegetables that are contaminated with whipworms and eaten without proper cleaning.

Causes of whipworm infection

Whipworm infection can occur if exposed to contaminated soil
Whipworm infection is also known as trichuriasis. In scientific language, whipworms are referred to as trichuris trichiura. These infections are common, especially in children.

A person can become infected with whipworms if they ingest food or soil contaminated with whipworm eggs. Worm eggs can hatch in the body and then stick to the intestinal wall.

The cycle of transmission of whipworm infection can occur with the following stages:

  • Whipworms live in the intestines of infected humans or animals.
  • Whipworm eggs come out with the feces (feces) of an infected person.
  • If an infected person defecates outside a latrine, such as near bushes, gardens, or fields, feces can contaminate the surroundings.
  • If your hands, or fingers touch feces or contaminated soil, and then touch your mouth without washing your hands, this could be the entry point for the worm eggs into the human body.
  • The eggs hatch in the body and cause infection.
  • Infection can also occur when you eat vegetables or fruit that are contaminated and haven't been washed, peeled, or cooked properly.

Symptoms of whipworm infection

Whipworm infection causes diarrhea and abdominal pain
Symptoms of trichuriasis can vary depending on the severity of the infection. For a mild infection, there may not be any symptoms. As for more severe whipworm infections, some of the symptoms that may be felt include:

  • Diarrhea with a foul smelling odor
  • Increased and painful bowel movements
  • Watery stools mixed with blood and mucus
  • Unexplained stomach pain
  • Heartburn
  • Loss of appetite
  • Rectal prolapse, which is a condition characterized by protrusion of the rectum from the anal canal
  • Frequent urge to defecate at night
  • Tend to feel tired
  • Worms can sometimes be directly seen in the irritated anus
  • Very severe infections can cause symptoms of anemia
  • Severe whipworm infection in children can cause stunted growth and stunted cognitive development.

Treatment of whipworm infection

Before being given treatment, the doctor will diagnose whipworm infection by performing a stool test. If you are infected with whipworms, you will find whipworms or whipworm eggs in your intestines and feces.

The most common and effective treatment for whipworm infection is the administration of antiparasitic drugs such as albendazole and mebendazole. Antiparasitic drugs can help eradicate whipworms and their eggs from the body.

Usually trichuris trichiura worm infection medication is prescribed for 1-3 days. This type of drug has minimal side effects. To make sure the infection is gone, your doctor may order another stool test or stool examination.

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