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The problem of helminth infestation is common in all tropical countries due to prevalent methods of defecation and disposal of excreta. Intestinal infestation adds to the burden of the rapidly growing children whose health status is already compromised by illness, malnutrition, and unsanitary living conditions.
Common parasitic infestations are as follows:
Ascariasis is caused by ascaris lumbricoides. It is seen more common in the children between the age of one and five years, with lower socioeconomic status.
Sign and symptoms:
1. Fever and eosinophilia due to larvae
2. Ascaris pneumonia due to larvae in the lungs
3. Necrosis of liver cells due to migration of larvae into the liver causes right abdominal pain.
4. Abdominal pain due to mesentric lymphadinitis
5. Intestinal obstruction due to adult worms
6. General peritonitis and extraperitonial abscess
7. General symptoms such as diarrhoea, pica, abdominal distension, sleeplessness, irritability and loss of weight.
8. Ascaris encephalopathy may occur with other infections, diarrhoea and high fever.
Piperizin Citrate or Mebendazole is prescribed.
1. Use of the boiled cooled drinking water should be practiced.
2. Hygienic habits of eating and hand washing help to prevent orofaecal infections.
3. Proper disposal of excreta and refuse is essential.
4. Control of flies is necessary to prevent the spread of infestations.
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