Parasites such as roundworms and tapeworms can be disgusting as well a health risk sometimes even causing death in humans. If you are easily offended or grossed out, please do not watch the videos.
The following are the different types of worm parasites that can infect many parts of our bodies. These focus on the parasitic roundworms and tapeworms. Most times it is the egg that is ingested and then hatch inside the body.
Pinworms – also known as threadworm or seatworm. It’s a common intestinal parasite most common in younger children. This parasite lives in the large intestine. After mating the male worm dies and the female makes her way to the anus to lay her 10-20 thousand eggs. She then secretes a substance which causes considerable itching in the human host. Itching can then transfer any eggs to the fingers and on to other areas such as clothes or bathtubs. The eggs can survive outside the body for 2-3 weeks. Pinworms are generally 1-4 mm in length. They do not cause damage to the body other than itching or crawling sensations which can become unsanitary.
Hookworms – a parasite that lives in the small intestine. Hookworm can cause complications in children such as intellectual and growth retardation. Hookworm infection is rarely fatal but anemia can be one of its side effects. It is however the leading cause of death in undeveloped countries. Infection comes from the larvae and not the eggs. Walking barefoot through areas that have been contaminated with feces is a common cause. They are able to penetrate the skin in the bottom of your feet. Once they are inside the body they make their way to the lungs then the windpipe and are swallowed. Once swallowed they make their way into the intestines and mature into adulthood. Their life span is generally 1-5 years. During this time a female lays up to 30,000 eggs per day (18-54 million in a lifetime) which are passed through the feces.
Whipworms- This worms name came from the way it looks like a whip. It affects the large intestine. The female produces 2-10 thousand eggs per day and live up to five years. The eggs are deposited in human feces and become infective within 2-3 weeks. Infection occurs when the eggs are ingested. They are commonly found in dry goods such as beans, rice and peas.
Ascaris – a giant intestinal roundworm that typically affects pigs and human living with poor sanitation. They can cause death by depriving the victim of nutrients from food, affect cognitive processes and provoking intestinal blockage. About 43,000 tons of these eggs are layed per year in human feces. The eggs are then accidentally ingested and move through the blood vessels into the lungs. The larvae are then coughed up and swallowed. They then move on to the small intestine.