Ascaridosis: symptoms and treatment, signs, prevention
Mar 14, 2018
In this disease, ascarid larvae spread through different body systems, and their subsequent development occurs directly in the small intestine.
Ascaridosis is characterized by pronounced symptoms of intoxication with the products of the life of ascaris, in particular by abdominal syndrome and allergic reactions.
Causes of Ascaridosis
The only cause of ascariasis in children and adults is its infection with helminth larvae.(see what are the helminths in humans).
The path of infection in most cases - oral. Typically, ascarid larvae are found in soil that remains on dirty hands, poorly washed fresh vegetables or fruits. This is why small children, who spend a lot of time in sandboxes and do not follow the rules of personal hygiene, often suffer from ascariasis.
After entering the digestive tract, the larva moves to the venous system, and from there it spreads through the bloodstream to the organs: first into the lungs and then into the heart.
From there, it again enters the small intestine, where an adult is already formed from the larva. In some cases, the larvae may linger in the organs, most often in the lungs or the liver, causing lesions of varying degrees of complexity.
Read also how to treat pinworms in adults.
Symptoms of Ascaridosis in Adults
In adults, the first clinical symptoms of ascaridosis become noticeable only after approximately 1.5 months from the moment the helminth eggs enter the human body. The early stage has a pronounced symptomatology of organism intoxication.
First of all, there is weakness, headache, a slight increase in body temperature. The patient quickly becomes tired, he is disturbed by dizziness, slight nausea. In the long course of the disease, immunity is significantly reduced, and colds are often diagnosed.
Almost all cases of ascariasis have gastrointestinal symptoms. Patients complain of unstable cramping pain in the abdomen, swelling. Often, these symptoms are associated with constipation or diarrhea, with the appetite, as a rule, reduced.
With massive helminthic invasion, in some cases, blockage of the intestinal lumen and, as a consequence, intestinal obstruction, which is characterized by acute pain and more often requires surgery.
A very common symptom in helminthic invasion is various skin rashes. Most often they are in the form of urticaria, which is mainly localized on the trunk. This phenomenon arises as an allergic reaction to toxins, which ascarids poison the body. In addition, the appearance of patients worsens, the condition of hair and skin deteriorates.
This is due to the fact that with ascaridosis the process of absorption of nutrients in the gastrointestinal tract is significantly impaired, as a result of which there is a deficiency of vitamins and microelements.
Diagnosis, tests for ascariasis
As a rule, the first suspicions of ascariasis appear after a typical broncho-pulmonary pathology, such as coughing and shortness of breath without the remaining signs of a cold or viral disease.
In addition, the diagnosis of helminthic invasion is mandatory for pain in the abdomen of uncertain etiology.
Since ascarinic larvae are excreted along with the calves, the main method of diagnosis in ascaridosis is coprologic examination of the faecal sample.
However, this method does not give 100% guarantees for the correct diagnosis, since the eggs of the worms are in the stool inconstantly, but only in the intestinal phase of the disease. That is why it is recommended to do not a one-time analysis, but to repeat it every few days for two weeks. At the same time, the collected feces must be fresh, the maximum shelf life of it should not exceed 18 hours.
In addition to coprological studies, a general blood test is also performed to diagnose ascariasis. In helminthic invasion, an important indicator is the level of eosinophils, which, when the disease is significantly increased. Also it is necessary to pay attention to leucocytes: as a rule, their quantity with ascariasis also remains elevated.
At the initial stages of the disease, when patients have bronchopulmonary symptoms, sputum samples are also taken for analysis, in which ascarin larvae can often be found. And in especially neglected cases, traces of infiltrates in the lungs become noticeable when carrying out an X-ray.
See also, symptoms and treatment of opisthorchiasis in humans.
Treatment of ascaridosis
In ascariasis, treatment with anthelminthic drugs in the form of tablets or suspensions is prescribed in the prescribed manner. More often all we are talking about vermox( mebendazole), decaris( levamisole) or pyrantel.
Drugs take a course that is on average 3-7 days. These drugs show high efficiency, but they should be taken exclusively under medical supervision. After the course of admission, after about a month, the re-delivery of the tests is scheduled.
In case of intolerance to a number of anthelmintic medicines, and also to increase their effectiveness, patients are shown oxygen therapy. The essence of this procedure consists in the introduction through the probe of approximately 1500 ml of oxygen directly into the stomach. For a persistent positive result, 2-3 sessions are necessary, after which, after 3 weeks, the results of the analyzes are monitored again.
Depending on the course of the disease, in addition to anthelmintic drugs, in the treatment of ascaridosis, multivitamins, hepatoprotectors, enzymes are also used. In the presence of allergic reactions, reception of antihistamines is indicated.
To date, ascariasis is one of the most common helminthiases. This is explained by the fact that in ordinary life it is very simple to pick up the larvae of parasites. Almost every person is open to infection, especially the issue of infection is facing the children's population. However, these risks can be minimized, for this you should only carefully follow all familiar rules of personal hygiene.
Particular attention should be given to frequent hand washing throughout the day. It is mandatory to do this after the toilet, after coming home from the street, before eating. Parents need to ensure that their young children do not lick dirty toys, do not eat earth or sand from the sandbox. The most common infection with the larvae of ascaris occurs in the summer. Often, this is due to the consumption of insufficiently pure vegetables and fruits.
That's why doctors in order to prevent helminthic invasions are advised to thoroughly wash similar products under running water.
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