Parasitic Worms: Diseases Caused it

Parasitic Worms

Parasitic worms are large macroparasites, They are also known as helminths.


Important Information given by WHO

  • According to WHO around 2 billion people harbour these infections.
  • Means, worms infect more than 1/3 of the world’s population.
  • Three hundred million are severely ill due to worms and of those at least 50% are school-age children.
  • In Africa alone, the death toll due to schistosomiasis may be as high as 200,000 every year.
  • Having said that it is the chronic, long-term – and often insidious – damage to a person’s health which is of even greater concern.
  • Over 300 species of worms infect humans.
  • Of these there are five types of schistosomes.
  • SCHISTOSOMES need fresh, still water for their survival.
  • They are therefore found in lake-side communities, around water development schemes like dams and wherever people are in contact with infested water during their normal daily activities of hygiene, recreation or during irrigation farming.
  • Children are nearly always the most heavily infected because they spend hours playing and swimming in water and lack the partial immunity which adults gradually develop.

Diseases Caused by Parasitic Worms


Incubation Period: About 4-8 weeks

Mode of Transmission: Soil, food and
water contaminated with eggs of female worm; flies act as carriers

  • Bleeding in liver, heart, lungs
  • Sudden contraction of muscles, fever and anaemia
Preventive Measures
  • Maintenance of personal hygiene
  • Boiled, cooled and fresh water should be used for drinking


Incubation Period: About 8-14 weeks

Mode of Transmission: Consumption of
infected pork and beef


Extreme weakness

Preventive Measures
  • Avoid raw meat
  • Cook meat at a temperature greater than 140°F for about 5 minutes
  • Freeze meat

Filariasis/Eleph antiasis

Incubation Period: 4 weeks to 1 year

Mode of Transmission: Bite of the Culex

  • Characteristic swelling in the arms, legs and chest
  • Swollen legs resembling those of an elephant
  • Inflammation of lymph glands and lymph vessels
  • Enlargement of limbs/ankle
  • Fever with chills
Preventive Measures
  • Avoid mosquito bites
  • Eradication of the vector
  • Use of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory

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