Hookworm Infection

What is Hookworm Infection?

Hookworm infection is an intestinal infection caused by the parasitic worms Ancylostoma duodenale and Necator americanus. It is the most common soil-transmitted helminth infection with over 500 million people estimated to be infected worldwide.

Risk Factors and Common Symptoms of Hookworm Infection

Risk factors for this roundworm infection include walking barefoot in areas where hookworm is present, contact with infected human feces, or eating contaminated food or water. Common hookworm infection symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, mild diarrhea, and fatigue. In some cases, the skin may develop a raised, itchy rash called Cutaneous Larva Migrans.

Diagnosing and Treating Hookworm Infection

Your doctor can diagnose hookobrm infection by testing a stool sample for parasite eggs. It's important to seek medical advice if you suspect you have a hookworm infection, as it can lead to anemia and other health complications. The conventional treatment for Hookworm infection involves taking antiparasitic medications such as albendazole or mebendazole. You may also need to take iron supplements and folate to offset any malabsorption due to the infection.

Preventing Hookworm Infection

The best way to protect yourself and your family from hookworm infection is to:
  • Wear shoes when walking outside
  • Avoid contact with human feces
  • Wash hands often with soap and clean water
  • Clean bathrooms, kitchen surfaces, and toilets often
  • Frequently deworm family pets
  • Cook food thoroughly
  • Drink clean water or boil water before drinking
  • Avoid swimming in contaminated waters