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Not Just For Pets And Children: Here's Why And How You Need to Deworm As An Adult

Image for representation.

Image for representation.

The most common types of worms that infect both adults and children are threadworm, roundworm, whipworm, tapeworm and hookworm.

We all must know that children need to get deworming medications from medical centres or at home. But how many of you know that deworming is equally important for adults?

Yes, adults need deworming too. There are many programmes that promote deworming in children but not enough awareness has been raising regarding the deworming for adults and pregnant women.

The most common types of worms that infect both adults and children are threadworm, roundworm, whipworm, tapeworm and hookworm. Eggs of some worms like pinworm and threadworm are so small that they cannot be seen with naked eyes and can transmit through air.

How do we get worms in our body?

Worms can easily enter our body because of seemingly safe but unhygienic habits such as walking barefoot on the grass in your lawn, not washing your hands before eating food, drinking dirty water or untreated milk, not washing vegetables before cooking, taking a swim in a public swimming pool with untreated water and even getting a lick from your pet. These worms enter our body and lay eggs in our intestines.

Can these worms be harmful to the body?

Intestinal worms can lead to abdominal pain, diarrhoea, vomiting, bloating and allergic reactions in both adults and children. Worms in a child’s intestines can affect their performance and growth.

These worms may not look harmful initially, but they have the ability to form cysts in the liver and lungs. It has been reported that if they migrate to the lungs they can cause pneumonia. On migrating to the brain, these worms can do serious neurological damage.

Do adults need deworming?

Many people are under the misconception that adults do not require deworming and that it is only meant for children. However, there are plenty of studies that have clarified this confusion a long time back.

According to an article published in the journal PLOS in August 2015, it was found that children got reinfected with the worms even after getting the treatment because of the reservoir of worms in the adults.

Another study published in 2013 in the European Journal Tropical Medicine and International Health, reported that hookworm infection can increase significantly with age, which makes adults equally, if not more, prone to infections.

How can deworming be done in adults?

A single dose of albendazole (400mg) or mebendazole (500mg) can be given to prevent parasitic infection in adults. In the case of pregnant women, deworming medication is given after the first trimester.

The medication is given twice a year in regions where the predominance of parasites is more than 50%. You can easily get a prescription for deworming medication from your doctor.

For more information, read our article on Intestinal worms.

Health articles on News18 are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.

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Disclaimer: The information provided here is intended to provide free education about certain medical conditions and certain possible treatment. It is not a substitute for examination, diagnosis, treatment, and medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. If you believe you, your child or someone you know suffers from the conditions described herein, please see your health care provider immediately. Do not attempt to treat yourself, your child, or anyone else without proper medical supervision. You acknowledge and agree that neither myUpchar nor News18 is liable for any loss or damage which may be incurred by you as a result of the information provided here, or as a result of any reliance placed by you on the completeness, accuracy or existence of any information provided herein.
first published:June 30, 2020, 15:09 IST