Symptoms and Signs of Ascariasis

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 4/26/2022

Doctor's Notes on Ascariasis

Ascariasis is an infection of the small bowel by the parasitic roundworm, Ascaris lumbricoides, or occasionally by Ascaris suum (from pigs). Signs and symptoms may range from mild to severe and are as follows:

Especially in children, masses of worms may result in blockage of the GI tract or other digestive organs.

The cause of ascariasis is an infection of the small bowel by the parasitic roundworm, Ascaris lumbricoides, or occasionally by Ascaris suum (from pigs). People swallow the parasite eggs in contaminated food or water. The eggs hatch in the intestine, burrow into the tissue and travel via the blood to the lungs where they become larvae in about 10-14 days. Then they burrow out into the airways and are coughed up and swallowed into the intestine where they mature into male and female worms that reproduce and shed eggs into the stools and repeat the process.

What Are the Treatments for Ascaris Infections?

The treatments for Ascaris infections are medications and, in some individuals with heavy infestations that result in damage like intestinal or bile duct blockage or other complications, surgery.

Your doctors can help decide what treatment plan is best for you and/or your child's condition.

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REFERENCE:

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.