What are the round worms? Information on the Round Worms (Nematodes), the life cycle of ascaris.
Round Worms (Nematodes)
Unlike flatworms, roundworms have a digestive tube with two openings. Food is taken through the mouth and undigested material passes out through the anus. Roundworms have well-developed reproductive system. They have separate sexes and fertilization occurs within the body of the female.
Trichina, filaria, pinworm, ascaris and hookworm are all parasitic roundworms that infect humans. Hookworms infect people in warm places who walk barefoot on contaminated soil. The young hookworms enter the body by boring through the skin of the feet. Once it the body, they are carried by the circulation of the blood, into the lungs. They then bore through the lungs, are coughed up, swallowed and pass once again into the small intestine, where they suck blood from the intestinal wall. Symptoms of hookworm infection include anemia and lack of energy.
Pinworms are one of the more common parasitic roundworms. They are tiny worms that are most often found in children. Adult pinworms live in the large intestine. The female worms deposit their eggs in the anal region. The presence of these eggs causes itching. When the child scratches, some of the eggs get onto the fingers. Children reinfect themselves when they put their unclean fingers into their mouths Pinworms live only a few weeks, so, if reinfection can be prevented by cleanliness, the pinworms disappear from the intestine within a short period of time.
The ascaris is a large round worm which lives in the intestine of horses, dogs and people. The female worm is longer than the male and both have a digestive tube, mouth and anus. The female may be almost 40 cm long. The mature worm lives in the small intestine and eggs are passed out of body with the feces. The female ascaris may lay up to 200.000 eggs in a day.
The life cycle of the ascaris
1- The eggs are swallowed with infected food.
2- They pass through the intestine where larvae are hatched.
3- The blood carries the larvae all over the body and finally they block the blood capillaries and cause hemorrhages.
4- The baby ascaris then enter the air passages and travel through the bronchi and trachea to the throat. Here they are swallowed for the second time.
5- They go to the stomach and intestines where the young ascaris develop into adult worm in two and a half months. Then they start laying eggs.
6- These eggs are passed out of the body with the feces.
We can protect ourselves from the ascaris worm by
1- Washing all food very well.
2- Making sure that food is well and properly cooked.
3- Washing our hands before and after meals, using the bathroom.
4- Using proper medicines as prescribed by the doctor, if needed.
5- Making sure that there is proper disposal of sewage.