Worms as living representatives of parasitism on Earth are a big problem not only for infected people, but also for entire countries, where they sometimes become a real disaster. Usually, when people talk about worms, they are mostly imagining small white worms living in the human gut. But in fact, the types of worms in humans are extremely diverse, both in size and in duration of existence. Some species of helminths (so called worms in the medical literature) can only be seen on a powerful optical device and there are species that reach a length of 18-20 meters and parasitize inside a person up to twenty years.
Infecting people (especially children) with worms is a common occurrence. The eggs of helminths, which the female reproduces in large quantities, are extremely elastic and adapt to the internal conditions of residence in the human body and the external environment into which they enter with feces.
Egg shells reliably protect them from external mechanical influences and climatic factors, including heat and cold. There they wait for a favorable opportunity to enter the organism of their "host", where they immediately fixate, develop, turn into sexually mature individuals and re-infect the "host" with a giant number of eggs, whichbegin a new phase of reproduction. Next, we will take a closer look at what worms are in humans.
What types of worms are found in humans
The classification of helminths can be based on various characteristics - for example, from the place of their parasitism in the human body. On this basis, they are divided into intestinal and extraintestinal.
Intestinal worms are parasites that have adapted to live in the gastrointestinal tract. These are roundworms and tapeworms.
Extraintestinal worms are those that are adapted to parasitize other human organs - for example, the eyes, liver, lungs and even the brain.
it is possible to classify helminth varieties by the way they enter the body of the main host. On this basis, they are divided into adhesives, biohelminthics and geohelminthics.
Infectious worms are those that an infected person transmits to a healthy person during communication. Children can have toys as transfer facilities. This group of helminths includes pinworm worms and dwarf stripes.
Biohelminthic worms are those that are transmitted to humans through communication with animals, as well as in the case of eating poorly processed meat. Animals in this case are called "intermediate" hosts of helminths. This species includes bovine and porcine stripes.
Geohelminthic types of worms include those whose part of their life is spent on the ground (earth), as a result of which their name has the prefix "geo". Infection with this type of worm can occur through unwashed fruits or vegetables. This group includes helminths such as trichina and roundworm.
Worm varieties can be classified according to their biological characteristics. In this case, they are divided into flat ones, which in turn consist of trematodes, cestodes and nematodes.
Characteristics of human worms
Let's start with round parasites - these are nematodes. They have an elongated round body. Their life cycle occurs with a change of owners. This infection is common in children. These include the following types of worms.
- Ascaris, parasitizing in the gut, and they move easily through it, poison the entire host organism and live in it for more than a year. Their length reaches half a meter.
- Bracelets and nectar (by their great resemblance they combine into "wild worm"). 15 mm long, live in the duodenum, feed on blood. They can enter a person both through the mouth with food and through the skin (for example, barefoot in an infected area of the soil).
- Vlasoglav up to 4 cm tall. It feeds on blood, sucking the mucosa of the bulk or cecum. Beenshte a parasite in humans for five years. Stingworms are small parasites that reach 1 cm in length. Parasitize in the large and small intestines. Life expectancy is about 1. 5 months. Children are more susceptible to infection.
- Trichinella is located in the heart, lungs, eyes. Length - no more than 1 cm. Penetrate a person with food - poorly processed meat. They live up to two years.
Flatworms are classified into fluke and cestode.
Trematodes are helminths with a leaf-shaped body with two suction cups (one used to join the host body, the other used to feed). Body size can be from a few millimeters to a meter and a half. The development of such types of worms occurs with the use of an intermediate "host" of them. In the main "host" they live in the digestive tract. They do not need their own digestive system because they parasitize completely at the expense of their “host” food sources. With a strong infection with this helminth, people start to lose weight, even if they eat a lot. The following parasites are referred to as trematodes.
- Liver - helminth up to 20 mm, lives in the liver. A person can become infected by eating poorly processed fish.
- Fluke - helminth up to 1. 5 cm. Lives in the gallbladder. These helminths, their species are found in our country, but there are also tropical species.
- Schistosomes are trematodes that live in the blood of the host. They live in warm places. 30 mm long, their diameter is 1 mm. A feature of this parasite is that its female lives its entire life in a separate male fold. They live thus for several years inseparably and produce a large number of eggs. A person can contract schistosomes while swimming.
Cestodes are worms with a segmental body structure. The segments grow successively from the helminth's head and during its lifetime they move further and further into the tail. As they move, a large number of eggs are fertilized and grow in them. Once they have reached the end of the tail, they fall away from the body of the uterus, with human feces entering the external environment, where they begin the next phase of life. In the main host, they live in the gut, relying on special suckers up to 20 m.
Let's take a closer look at helminth species.
- Pig tapeworm- helminth up to 2 m, lives in the small intestine. Poorly processed pork is the source of this infection. The human body for the pig strip is an intermediate host, which derives from its own name.
- Echinococcusis a helminth that also uses humans as an intermediate host. Dogs and cats are the main carriers. Echinococcal colonies cannot be treated in humans, but only surgically removed.
- Taurus Tape(up to 10 m). Lives in the small intestine, for which there are suction cups. Poorly processed beef is the main source (that is why it is called beef).
- Broadband(up to 20 m) lives in the small intestine. Infection occurs through poorly processed lobsters and fish.
A large variety of helminth species in humans cause serious dysfunction.
Symptoms of worm infection
The symptoms of the disease depend on the type of helminths that strike a person. They can be very different because these parasites are able to live in almost all parts of the body and human organs. Worm varieties cause the most common symptoms of infection:
- itching in the anal area;
- diarrhea and other bowel disorders;
- abdominal pain;
- weight reduction;
- increased appetite;
- muscle pain;
- sleep disorders;
- allergic manifestations;
- added fatigue.
Treatment and prevention of helminthic infestation (infection)
Types of helminthiases (groups of infectious diseases) depend on the type of helminth and its localization in the human body. At the same time, helminthiases can be secretive or difficult, sometimes even fatal. In general, there are as many helminths as there are all kinds of helminths, and so far no universal cure has been found for all parasites. Therefore, for effective treatment, you need to know exactly what kind of parasite a person is infected with.
In medicine, many drugs have been developed and tested to treat helminths. Many of them are toxic to the patient, so self-medication is not recommended. If you suspect an infection, you should see a specialist.
It should be noted that often the primary treatment destroys only the adults of the worms, but their eggs and larvae remain valuable in the body, and some time after the treatment, the worms can still feel with symptoms. Therefore, repeated use of these drugs is possible.
Folk remedies for worms
Here are some of the popular time-tested remedies for worms with no positive change results. In everyday life, everyone should be able to fight this parasite with affordable and inexpensive tools. These products include pumpkin seeds and flax seeds (both raw and in the form of a decoction), pumpkin oil, onion decoction, wormwood decoction, tansy and ginger, garlic with milk.
But it is better not to get infected with helminths at all. For this, well-known preventive measures should be implemented - hand washing, processing of vegetables and fruits, performing thermal processing of pork, beef and fish, taking care when dealing with pets. Continued adherence to these simple rules will drastically reduce the risk of helminth infection.