Nematodes or Roundworms (or Ascaris) are a 20 to 30cm long parasite that uses the human body to feed and re-produce. They are normally pink in nature (sometimes white). Through lack of cleanliness, the roundworm eggs pass from a person’s stools to another person’s mouth. Once the eggs are swallowed, young worms hatch and enter the bloodstream.
The female roundworm, for example, can release some 200,000 eggs a day. However, the eggs must incubate in soil to become viable. The number of roundworms a person carries depends on the number of viable eggs or larvae ingested. Many people play host to a few roundworms without even being aware of it. But a large number of roundworms can cause serious intestinal blockage.
So therefore, if someone swallows the microscopic eggs in a contaminated food of water that person will be roundworm infested.
Toxascaris, a parasitic roundworm disease found commonly in dogs and cats, has been receiving increased attention in Australia since a child was recently blinded by it. Pets in city areas are more often infected, with puppies being the worst offenders.
Following are symptoms of roundworm:
- Abdominal Pain
- Loss of appetite
- Swollen abdomen
- Chronic indigestion
- Constipation or Diarrhea
- Weight loss
- Restless Sleep
- Wheezing and
The best way of protecting yourself from becoming infested with roundworm is prevention. There are many things you could do to prevent roundworm infestation. I have listed 6 helpful tips.
TIP #1: Cleanliness and Proper hygiene
Cleanliness is the best protection. The following are things you can do to remain clean:
- Excrement should not be left exposed to the air.
- Toilet facilities should be a safe distance from the water source.
- Human waste should not be used as fertilizer.
- Do not let your children eat dirt.
- If one child is found to have parasites, it would be a good idea to have all family members checked.
TIP #2: Food
Care should also be exercised in buying and preparing food. Try to buy products grown in an area that has a reputation for sanitary conditions. Meat should be well cooked in the center.
Never eat raw meat. Raw fruit and vegetables should first be thoroughly washed. Be careful not to reuse the water, however, as it may be contaminated.
TIP #3: Antibiotic – Mebendazole (Vermox)
This antibiotic treats roundworm effectively.
NOTE: Pregnant women or children under 2 years old should not take mebendazole.
One tablet twice a day (morning and evening) for 3 days (6 tablets in all).
Note: Consult your doctor for the right dosages.
TIP #4: Pawpaw (Papaya)
Pawpaw – a very good home remedy for roundworm – is rich in vitamins and also aid digestion. Below are procedures you could use to get rid of roundworm using pawpaw.
- Collect 3 or 4 teaspoons (15-20ml) of the ‘milk’ that comes out when the green fruit or trunk of the tree is cut.
- Mix it with an equal amount of honey and stir it into a cup of hot water.
- Drink along with a laxative, if possible.
Dry and crush to a powder the papaya seeds. Take 3 teaspoons mixed with 1 glass of water, or some honey, 3 times a day for 7 days.
TIP #5: Water
Drinking water should be brought to a full boil. After the water has cooled, it may be aerated to restore oxygen. Most household filters are not sufficient to eliminate all parasites. The purity of commercially bottled water depends on the degree of sanitary precautions observed in the plant where it is processed.
TIP #6: Traveling
Traveling or eating out will require additional precautions. Bottled and cartooned drinks are usually safe if served without ice. Since some parasites survive freezing temperatures, ice is only as pure as the water it is made from. You may want to be careful about eating food sold by street vendors.
Cut-up pineapple or melon may look inviting, but it is often freshened up by sprinkling water over it—water that may be contaminated. Be careful, but do not become so paranoid that you can no longer enjoy your trip. By taking reasonable precautions, there is much that you can do to protect yourself from parasites.
Roundworms are very dangerous when they get into our digestive tract. Care should be taken at all times. Our food, water, and lifestyle could make us susceptible to roundworms. Apply what you’ve read on this page. Consult with a qualified doctor or health worker in your area as soon as possible if you do notice symptoms of this parasite.
Video on How to Get Rid of Roundworm
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John Eze Simon – Learn more about me