All You Need To Know About Deworming
Do you know what it means to deworm?
If you do, when was the last time you took a deworm medication? If you cannot remember, chances are you may be exposing yourself to health problems.
Food preferences have changed greatly in today’s world, where a busy schedule prevails, and eating out has become an easy option due to time constraints which has resulted in health issues.
Worms in the digestive system, and more specifically, a lack of knowledge about deworming, is rapidly growing and not seen by many as a problem.
Humans are infected by hundreds of different types of worms (helminths) all over the world. They are abundant in a variety of shapes and sizes, including flat, round, hooked, and barbed.
Some worm eggs, such as pin worm or thread worm eggs, are so small that they can only be seen through a microscope; these tiny eggs can become airborne.
Learn more about deworming, why it is important and ways to deworm properly.
What is deworming?
Deworming is the method of getting rid of worms that have made their way into the human body.
Threadworm, roundworm, whipworm, tapeworm, and hookworm are some of the most common worms that can infect adults and children.
How can worms enter the body?
Worm infestation is a common problem that affects mainly children, but due to changes in eating patterns, it is now also affecting adults.
Worm infestation is usually not a life threatening infection, although it can cause a variety of health issues.
Infectious worms enter the body through:
- If humans consume eggs, larvae, cysts, or adult worms found in food, drink, soil, or feces. This is mostly triggered by an unhygienic lifestyle, with one of the most popular modes being the consumption of raw meat.
- Licking one’s pet
- Taking a walk barefoot
- Swimming in a pool that hasn’t been cleaned.
- Not washing before and after meals, as well as before and after food preparation
- Swallowing or inhaling eggs, larvae, cysts, or adult worms living in food, drink, soil, or feces.
What are the symptoms of worm infestation?
The worms, which typically enter the stomach through food, begin to take nutrients from our bodies and may migrate to the lungs, brain, and eyes, among other places.
The main signs and symptoms of worm infestation are:
- Abdominal pain
- Itching in the anal region
- Loss of weight
- Loss of appetite
Adults can experience a decrease in productivity, malnutrition, cough, and seizures depending on the location where the worm has lodged.
Though deworming among children has received widespread attention, deworming among adults has remained largely unnoticed. Adults, on the other hand, should be dewormed on a regular basis.
People who live in areas with improper waste disposal, inadequate water treatment, and poor food hygiene are more likely to contract worm infections.
How can worm infestation be prevented?
The following are several steps that can be taken on a regular basis:
- Before eating, wash vegetables (especially green leafy vegetables) and fruits.
- Ensure that the toilets, bedroom, and laundry area are disinfected every day
- Cut and scrub your nails on a regular basis.
- Clothes, Towels and bed linens should be washed thoroughly.
- Washing hands on a regular basis, particularly after using the restroom and before and after meals, should be a habit.
What does it mean to deworm?
Deworming can be performed with the aid of prescribed antihelminth medications and dosages.
When the prevalence of soil-transmitted parasitic worms in a community is over 20%, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends deworming all children living in endemic areas once a year, and twice a year when it is less than 20%.
They also recommend that schools have health and hygiene education to minimize transmission and reinfection by promoting safe behaviors and ensuring proper sanitation.
What does deworming involve?
Children are usually given a single dose of antihelminth like albendazole tablets every six months by their doctors. Except for tapeworm, it works for most parasitic worms in the gut.
Adult worms are killed by deworming drugs, but the eggs are not. As a result, it’s important to repeat the dose every six months.
Anti-worm medications are only effective against adult worms that are still living in the intestines. The eggs and immature worms will not be affected.
It is important to treat the whole family at the same time and to review two weeks after the initial dose to see if a second dose is required, this is because
- Existing worm eggs in the body will lead to reinfection since the medication cannot destroy them.
- The medication can not stop people from infecting themselves
When you have a worm infection in your household, pay special attention to personal hygiene and household cleanliness.
Avoid buying drugs from drugstores, If you want to deworm yourself or family members, see your health provider to prevent complications such as allergic reactions.