Roundworms are intestinal parasites shaped like earthworms that are clearly seen without a microscope. Roundworms are contagious and thrive in the gastrointestinal tract. Occasionally, they may found in the lungs. They occur in all ages, but are most common in children.
Causes of Roundworms
Roundworm infections are caused by a parasite called Ascaris. The parasite's eggs enter the human body through contaminated water, food or soil-contaminated hands.
Signs and Symptoms of Roundworms
The typical symptoms associated with roundworms include irritability and restlessness, particularly at night. Appetite is erratic or decreased, and weight loss is common. Fatigue can be significant. Abdominal discomfort or pain occurs as well as diarrhea. When the lungs are involved, there may be cough and wheezing. Some degree of fever may occur. Worms may sometimes be seen in bowel movements or in the child’s bed, and rarely, one may be vomited.
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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