What is Ascariasis?


is an intestinal disorder caused by the

Ascaris lumbricoides

. Ascaris lumbricoides are parasitic roundworms that can hatch and grow in the intestines. This intestinal disorder is mostly prevalent in Africa and Latin America and occurs through ingesting food contaminated with the parasites’ eggs. In most people, this disorder is asymptomatic.


The worms that hatch and grow in the intestines grow up to 30 cm in length and when their number is small, there would be no symptoms as such. Once their number begins to grow and the worms start traveling into other parts of the body, there can be some sever symptoms.

  • It is estimated that around 25 percent of the world’s population are affected by this problem and in the US, it is the rural areas in the South-east that are affected the most.
  • Also, children get affected more severely when compared to adults.
  • The roundworms can live and sustain up to two years within the intestinal walls.


As mentioned earlier, it is the kids who suffer the most because of this disorder. Kids can develop gastrointestinal problems as well as problems an intestinal obstruction. In children with mild infestations, the symptoms are-

  • fever
  • spitting out worms (due to their presence in the respiratory tract)
  • presence of worms in the stool
  • loss of appetite
  • wheezing

More serious symptoms include-

  • vomiting
  • bloody diarrhea
  • abdominal cramps
  • fatigue
  • worms coming out of the nose
  • breathing problems
  • rashes on the skin

Apart from the above mentioned symptoms, a child having roundworms in the intestines can suffer from nutritional deficiencies, the pancreatic and the liver ducts can be blocked by the worms and the duct can be perforated by the worms.

Treatment: Ascaricides

, the drugs used to kill roundworms are usually the prescription. These drugs include, mebendazole; piperazine; santonin; albendazole; hexylresorcinol and thiabendazole.

If the worms have caused any damage to the organs of the digestive system or the respiratory system, then a surgery would be required to deal with



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