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Worms and parasites derive their nourishment from the body they are present in. Scientifically speaking, this infected person is called a host. The host then becomes increasingly weak as the parasites continue to extract nourishment from the body. In most cases, these worms and parasites enter the human body by two ways.
The first way is through the mouth. This happens when a person consumes food or water that has been contaminated with these parasites, in any way.
These parasites travel through the food pipe and infect the entire digestive system and other parts of the body. Parasites can also enter the body through any cracks or cuts that might be present on the surface of the skin. In certain cases, these worms and other parasites can be easily destroyed by medication or certain home remedies.
However, there have been many incidents of severe infestation wherein the person’s own life can be threatened by the presence of these parasites.
In such cases, very strong medication needs to be administered in order to destroy these parasites. There are many different kinds of worms and parasites that can infest the human body. Some of these are easier to treat and eliminate than the others.
In protozoa, the entire body of the parasitic organism is comprised of only one cell. Contaminated faecal matter is the main way by which protozoa spread.
They are transmitted to healthy individuals through mosquito bites or by consuming foodstuff that has been contaminated by these protozoa. Protozoa are highly infectious and gain access to the human body by entering the digestive tract via the person’s mouth.
Once they enter the digestive tract, they attach themselves to the intestines and derive their nourishment from there. As a result of this, the host gets weak and experiences symptoms such as fatigue.
Protozoa also contaminate the bloodstream of the host. As time passes by, these protozoa increase in number and cause a lot of trouble in the body.
A very common sickness caused by the protozoa named plasmodium is malaria, which spreads through the bite of the female anopheles mosquito. Sleeping sickness is also caused by one kind of protozoa. Giardia is another problem-causing type of protozoa that spreads through contaminated faeces and affects the intestines. This causes symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting and fever.
Arthropods are distinguished by the fact that they do not possess a vertebral column. On the contrary, they possess what is called an exoskeleton.
There are several arthropods which are entirely harmless to the human body. Crabs and shrimps fall into this category of harmless arthropods. These are normally cooked and consumed.
However, there are other arthropods such as ticks that are capable of wreaking havoc if they happen to enter the human body. They contaminate the bloodstream as they extract nourishment directly from the blood.
In some severe cases of tick infestation, the host can suffer a paralytic attack as well. Symptoms such as high fever and rashes normally accompany such cases of infestation.
Hookworms are known to enter the human body through the skin surface, particularly through the feet. People who walk barefoot are most likely to contract a hookworm infestation.
There have also been cases wherein hookworms have entered the human body through the scalp or palms. Once these hookworms enter the human body, they make their way into the intestines where they breed at a steady rate, giving rise to complications.
Photo Credit: Serenityanimalhospital.net
The major problem that arises due to the presence of hookworms is acute anaemia. Since these hookworms draw nourishment from the host’s blood, weakness and anaemia set in, causing the patient to experience chronic fatigue.
If hookworm infestation is left unchecked in children, it can give rise to mental retardation. Hence, it is absolutely vital to get treated, if you suspect a hookworm infestation.
Pinworms cause a lot of trouble once they enter the human body. They enter the body through the mouth and spread primarily through contaminated faeces. Like most parasitic organisms, these pinworms make their way into the digestive tract and gain nourishment from the large intestine.
Pinworm infestations are very common around the world, owing to the fact that these parasites can only survive inside a human host. They breed at a rather fast rate and are often the cause of urinary tract infections. One of the most common symptoms of pinworm infestation is severe itching near the anus, particularly at night.
Roundworms such as Ascaris lumbricoides spread when a person consumes food or water that has been contaminated with these parasites. Roundworm infestation is rather common and affects a large number of people, all over the world. Many countries around the world use human faeces as a cheap fertilizer for crops.
In the event that the faeces is contaminated with adult roundworms or even the eggs of these parasites, anyone coming in contact with this faeces is likely to become infected, if they are not careful enough to bathe immediately and to wash their hands before meals.
These roundworms dwell in the intestine which is where all the food ingested by the host is acted upon during the process of digestion.
The intestine thus becomes an ideal place for these roundworms to grow. They are capable of causing immense damage in the alimentary canal and even in the lungs. Sometimes the damage can be severe enough to require surgical treatment.
These parasites are very dangerous due to the fact that they can exist in the intestines as well as out of the intestines. They are able to thrive in either situation.
In many cases, these tapeworms clump together and form cyst-like balls that can be dangerous to the health of the host. Tapeworms spread through the consumption of food that has been contaminated with tapeworm eggs or larvae.
Once these eggs or larvae are ingested, they grow and breed in the host’s body, giving rise to many complications. Tapeworm infestation very often gives rise to conditions such as fever, vomiting and cyst-like growths. In rare cases, it can even result in the occurrence of seizures.
One must be very careful to cook meats such as beef and pork for sufficient amounts of time as tapeworms are often found in these meats and inadequate cooking fails to destroy them completely.