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Strongyloidosis

Strongyloidosis is an infection with the nematode Strongyloides stercoralis (S. stercoralis). According to regional health inspections, infection with this type of parasite is rare in Bulgaria.

Roundworms or nematodes are most common in warm climates, subtropical and tropical countries, and are also found in rural areas and in mental hospitals and nursing homes.

In the majority of cases, the source of nematodes is tourists, as well as people who have lived in South America or Africa.

Usually parasitosis does not cause symptoms and can easily be prevented with good personal hygiene.

What are the symptoms?

Although in the majority of cases parasitosis is subclinical, if symptoms do occur, they are most often:

• Painful sensation or burning in the upper abdomen;
• Diarrhea or alternating diarrhea and constipation;
• Cough;
• Appearance of a non-specific rash;
• Red spots around the anus similar to hives;
• Vomiting;
• Weight loss;

What are the causes?

The cause of the parasitosis is the roundworm S. Stercoralis, which parasitizes mainly humans.

After he comes into contact with the helminth, the infection follows the life cycle of the parasite, which goes through the following stages:

• The small worms penetrate the skin and enter the bloodstream;

• Subsequently, by means of the blood stream, the parasites move to the right half of the heart, from where they invade the lungs.

• From the respiratory organs, helminths reach the trachea and mouth;

• The infected person swallows the worms and they end up in his stomach.

• And then they settle in the small intestine, where they lay eggs, which hatch into larvae that are excreted from the host’s body in the feces.

• Larvae can infect the human body by penetrating the skin around the anus or reach sexual maturity and infect another person by contact.

• S. Stercoralis can also live in soil and reproduce without a host.

• In rare cases, roundworms change their life cycle and the larvae enter the host’s intestines, where they settle and are not expelled from the body in the feces.

This rare form of parasitosis can be very dangerous for people with weakened immune systems, such as AIDS patients or those with transplanted organs.

Who is at risk for worming?

• Those traveling to or living in South America, Africa, and other tropical regions.
• Those traveling to rural areas and to populated areas with lack of sewage.
• But even if a person does not observe good personal hygiene, he is also exposed to the risk of roundworms, regardless of which country he lives in.

Treatment of strongyloidosis

The goal of treatment is to destroy the roundworms in the small intestine.

There are several antiparasitic drugs that are administered:

• Ivermectin – is prescribed for 1 or 2-day administration, the drug works by killing the parasites;
• Albedanzol – 2 courses of 10-day administration of the medication are prescribed.
• Thiabendazole – also effective treatment by prescribing for 2 or 3 days 2 times a day.

It is possible to prescribe longer courses of treatment or to repeat them if the nematode has invaded multiple organs.

Prevention

Strongyloidosis cannot always be prevented, but maintaining excellent personal hygiene and maintaining good sanitary conditions in the premises they live in significantly limits the risk of worm infestation.< /p>

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