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How to Tell If a Human Has Roundworms

By Jaimie Zinski ; Updated July 27, 2017

Roundworm, or nematode, infections generally occur in the intestinal tract. Roundworms can grow in length anywhere from 1 millimeter to 1 meter. Transmission occurs when humans come in contact with the roundworm’s eggs and larvae on their hands and subsequently touch their mouth. Roundworms also can be acquired from eating tainted meat or vegetables. Most infections occur in hot, tropical climates rather than cooler temperatures. Here is a list of the different varieties of roundworms.

More than 1 billion people are infected with the most common type of roundworms known as the Ascariasis. Symptoms include fatigue, weight loss, nausea, diarrhea, blood in the stool, shortness of breath, abdominal pain.

Guinea Worm Disease. Symptoms generally manifest one year after the initial contact. It begins with a blister that becomes an open sore. Victims experience swelling and pain in the affected area.

Loiasis. Symptoms include blurred vision and watery, itchy eyes. Many times worms can be seen floating across the afflicted person’s eyeball.

River blindness. Symptoms include loss of vision, swollen lymph nodes, sores on the skin and rash.

Threadworm. Symptoms are dry cough, difficulty breathing, fever, blood in the stool, diarrhea and nausea.

Trichinosis. Symptoms include headache, fever, muscle pain, diarrhea, abdominal pain and conjunctivitis (pink eye).

Hookworm. Many times there are no symptoms. A few people do experience loss of appetite, diarrhea, weight loss, abdominal pain, cough and wheezing.

Whipworm. Symptoms are anemia, bloody diarrhea and abdominal pain.

Tip

Contact your physician immediately if you are experiencing these symptoms. To avoid roundworm infection: Do not eat undercooked meat or unwashed raw vegetables, keep children away from pet feces, and avoid unfiltered water or mosquito-infested areas.

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