Worms as a representative of parasitism on Earth are a big problem not only for infected individuals, but also for the whole country, where sometimes it is a real disaster. Usually, when people mention worms, most people imagine small white worms living in the human intestine. But in fact, the types of worms in humans are very diverse, both in terms of size and in terms of the duration of their existence. Some types of helminths (this is how worms are mentioned in the medical literature) can be seen only in powerful optical devices, and there are species that reach 18-20 meters long and parasites in a person up to twenty years.
Infection of people (especially children) with worms is common. The eggs of helminths, produced by females in large quantities, are highly resistant and adapted to the internal conditions of living in the human body and to the external environment in which they enter with feces.
Egg shells can protect them from external mechanical influences and climatic factors, including heat and cold. There they await a good opportunity to enter into their "host" organism, where they immediately become permanent, evolve, transform into mature sexually mature individuals and once again infect the "host" with a large number of eggs, which begin the stagenew breeding. Next, we will take a closer look at what worms are in humans.
What types of worms are found in humans
Classification of helminths can be based on a variety of characteristics - for example, based on their parasitic location in the human body. On this basis, they are divided into intestinal and extraintestinal.
Intestinal worms are parasites that have adapted to living in the gastrointestinal tract. These are round worms and tapeworms.
Extrintestinal worms are worms that have been adapted to parasites on other human organs - for example, in the eyes, liver, lungs and even in the brain.
It is possible to classify the types of helminths by the way they enter the main host body. On this basis, they are divided into infectious, biohelminthic and geohelminthic.
Infectious worms are worms that infect infected people to healthy people while communicating. Children may have toys as transfer objects. This group of helminths includes cream worms and dwarf tapeworms.
Biohelminthic worms are worms 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 referred to as intermediate 'helminths'. This species includes tapeworms and pigs.
Types of geohelminthic worms include worms that spend part of their lives on the ground (soil), as a result of which their name has the prefix "geo". Infection with these different types of worms can occur through unwashed fruits or vegetables. This group includes helminths such as trichina and ringworm.
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 the change of owners. This infection is common in children. This includes the following types of worms.
- Ascaris, a parasite in the gut, and they easily pass through it, poisoning the whole host organism and living in it for over a year. Its length reaches half a meter.
- Mining worms and nekators (by their very similarity they are combined into "mine worms"). 15 mm long, living in the duodenum, eats blood. They can enter a person through the mouth with food and through the skin (for example, barefoot in an infected area).
- Vlasoglav up to 4 cm. It eats blood, sucks large mucous membranes or cecum. It has been a parasite in humans for five years.
- Cream worms are small parasites, reaching 1 cm in length. Parasitic worms in large and small intestines. Life expectancy is approximately 1. 5 months. Children are most susceptible to infection.
- Trichinella resides in the heart, lungs, eyes. Length - not more than 1 cm. Penetrating a person with food - meat that is not processed hot They live up to two years.
Flatworms are classified into fluke and cestode.
Trematodes are helminths with leaf-shaped bodies with two suckers (one used to attach to the host body, the other used to feed). Body size can be from a few millimeters to one and a half meters. The development of such types of worms occurs with the use of intermediate "host" by them. In the main "host" they live in the digestive tract. They do not need their own digestive system, as they do parasites completely at the expense of their “host” food resources. With a strong infection in this helminth, people start to lose weight, even if they eat a lot. The following parasites are referred to as trematodes.
- Happiness of the liver - helminth up to 20 mm, living in the liver. A person can become infected by eating poorly processed fish.
- Fluke - helminth up to 1. 5 cm. He lives in the gallbladder. These helminths, their species are found in our country, but there are also tropical species.
- Schistosom is a trematode that lives in host blood. They live in warm countries. Length 30 mm, diameter 1 mm. The characteristic of this parasite is that the female lives all her life in the special folds of the male. They live like this for years inseparable and produce a large number of eggs. One can get schistosoma while swimming.
Cestode is a worm with segment body structure. Consecutive segments grow from the helminth head and throughout their life they move farther to the tail. As they move, a large number of eggs are fertilized and grow inside. Upon reaching the tip of the tail, they fall from the body of the uterus, with human feces they enter the external environment, where they begin the next phase of life. In the main host, they live in the intestine, attached to a special sucker up to 20 m.
Let us consider the types of helminths in more detail.
- Pig tapeworm- helminth up to 2 m, lives in the small intestine. Poorly processed pigs are a source of this infection. The human body for the pig tapeworm is an intermediate host, derived from its name.
- Echinococcusis a helminth that also uses humans as intermediate hosts. Dogs and cats are the main carriers. Echinococcal colonies cannot be treated in humans, but are only surgically removed.
- Bull tapeworm(up to 10 m). It lives in the small intestine, where it has a suction cup. Poorly processed beef is the main source (which is why it is called beef).
- Wide tapeworms(up to 20 m) live in the small intestine. Infection occurs through poorly processed lobster and fish.
Various types of helminths in humans cause serious dysfunction.
Symptoms of a worm infection
The symptoms of the disease depend on the type of helminths that strike a person. They can be very diverse, as these parasites can live in almost all parts of the human body and organs. Various worms cause the most common symptoms of infection:
- itching in the anal area;
- diarrhea and other fecal disorders;
- abdominal pain;
- weight loss;
- increased appetite;
- muscle pain;
- sleep disorders;
- manifestations of allergies;
- increased fatigue.
Treatment and prevention of helminthic invasion (infection)
The type of helminthiasis (group of infectious diseases) depends on the type of helminth and its localization in the human body. In this case, helminthiases can persist covertly or severely, sometimes to death. In general, there are many helminthiases because there are all kinds of helminths, and so far there is no universal cure for all parasites. Therefore, to get effective treatment, you need to know exactly what type of parasite a person is infected with.
In medicine, many drugs have been developed and tested to treat worms. Most of them are toxic to patients, so self-treatment is not recommended. If you suspect an infection, you must see a specialist.
It should be noted that often the main treatment only destroys adult worms, but their eggs and larvae can still be used in the body, and after some time after treatment, the worms can again show their symptoms. Therefore, the use of this drug is repeated.
Folk remedies for worms
Here are some time-tested folk remedies for worms with always positive results. In everyday life, everyone should be able to fight these parasites in an affordable and cheap way. This product includes pumpkin seeds and flax seeds (both raw and in the form of stew), pumpkin oil, onion stew, decoctions of wormwood, tansy and ginger, garlic with milk.
But it is better not to be infected with worms at all. For this, well-known preventive measures should be used - hand washing, processing vegetables and fruits, performing heat treatment of pork, beef and fish, with caution when dealing with pets. Adhering to these simple rules will drastically reduce the risk of infection in helminths.