Worms are worms that lead a parasitic lifestyle in the body of their host - a person. Age doesn't matter. Both adults and children are equally susceptible to infection. The classification of helminthiases is very extensive, especially in countries with hot climates.
There are 3 classes of parasitic worms:
- round (nematodes) - pinworms, roundworms;
- tape (cestodes) - pork tapeworm, bovine tapeworm, echinococcus;
- flatworms, flukes (trematodes).
The most common worms in children are pinworms, which cause enterobiasis. These helminths are small in size, on average up to 1 cm, white-gray in color with a curved body. The place of localization of these parasites is the large intestine, but they can also penetrate into the lower parts of the small intestine. Pinworms reproduce on the skin near the anus. At night, female pinworms get out to lay eggs in the folds of the skin, often penetrating the labia of girls, which ends with infectious diseases of the genitals. In total, these helminths live for about 1-1. 5 months. The process of self-infection in a child can lead to the fact that the malaise will continue for many years. Parasites can be detected with the naked eye in the feces.
Roundworms are another type of worms 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 enter the feces very rarely. Females periodically release eggs, which can be found in feces analysis. But if during the study they were not found, this does not mean that the child is not infected. The life cycle of a roundworm can last for several years.
The baby's curiosity is realized by his fingers, the child, learning about the world, actively touches everything that comes under his arm and immediately pulls into his mouth, trying for strength and taste. Thus, pinworm eggs safely enter the digestive tract of their future little host.
A child becomes infected with eggs of worms from the surface of unwashed fruits, when drinking contaminated water. Very often, infection occurs when communicating with animals, or when playing in the ground, sandpit, 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 eggs of parasitic worms, then a sharp deterioration may occur in a few days. In milder cases, the first symptoms of invasion appear after several weeks or even months. Much depends on the child's immunity. He may well cope with parasites and restrain their development. But gradually the defenses are reduced, 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 intestines, parasitic worms use nutrients, as a result of which the baby gradually becomes deficient in proteins, carbohydrates, fats and vitamins.
The child has:
- pallor of the skin,
- weakness, frequent dizziness,
- rise in body temperature, headache,
- bad dream,
- depressed mood.
Intestinal ailments appear - constipation, loose stools, rumbling and pain in the abdomen, bouts of nausea and vomiting, painful sensations in different parts of the abdomen, and bloating. The disease can be accompanied by allergic conditions: itching, rashes, cough, inflammation of the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract. Weakening of immunity leads to the addition of infectious diseases.
Diagnostics and treatment
Diagnosis of helminthiasis in feces is rather difficult. This is due to the fact that roundworm eggs or pinworms do not appear in the feces every day, and the technique of smear microscopy from the analysis requires great care. To increase the reliability of the analysis of feces for eggs of worms, it is advisable to take at least 3 days in a row.
In cases of an increased risk of infection with worms (contact with animals, the child's playing on the ground or in open sandpits, the child's habit of taking things in his mouth, biting his nails or licking his fingers, etc. ), it is advisable to undergo an in-depth examination, including, in addition to three-fold analysis of feces, special testsblood detecting antibodies to helminths.
In the presence of allergic manifestations of unknown origin, an increase in the number of eosinophils in the blood test, persistent intestinal dysbiosis, it is advisable to donate blood for the determination of class E immunoglobulins (Ig E and G) to roundworm and other helminths. You can check for worms in pets.
Assessing the totality of indirect signs and anamnesis, the doctor may recommend antihelminthic therapy without direct evidence of the presence of worms in the child, if other pathologies that cause similar clinical manifestations are excluded. If worms are found in a child or in someone from the family, it is necessary, if possible, to be treatedof all family members in order to avoid the formation of a focus of infection with each other with helminth eggs. In this situation, in addition, it is necessary to strengthen hygiene measures, in particular, to boil and iron bed and personal linen on both sides.