2023 Author: Josephine Shorter | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 04:34
Parasites in children
According to medical statistics, 2 million inhabitants of Russia have a history of parasitic infestation. Statistics on the sale of funds for her treatment show that in fact at least 22 million people in Russia suffer from parasites. About 80% of this number are children of preschool and primary school age. Medicine knows 342 types of parasites, of which about 70 are found on the territory of our country. The danger of this disease is that it is not always possible to give a child an accurate diagnosis based on the existing symptoms.
- Types of parasites that infect humans
- How does the infection occur and why?
- Common signs of parasites in the body
- What are the symptoms of pinworms in children
- Signs of ascariasis in a child
- Signs of other parasitic infestations
- How to remove parasites from a child?
- Prevention of infestation by parasites
- 3 myths about parasites
Types of parasites that infect humans
Invasive pathogens for which a person is an intermediate or main host:
Nematodes or roundworms - pinworms (causative agents of enterobiasis), roundworms (causative agents of ascariasis), Trichinella (causative agents of trichinosis), whipworm (causative agent of trichocephalosis), they are diagnosed more often than other species in children.
- Cestodes, or tapeworms - bovine tapeworm (causative agent of teniachnosis), pork tapeworm (causative agent of teniasis), dwarf or rat tapeworm (causative agent of hymenolepiasis), broad tapeworm (causative agent of diphyllobothriasis), echinococcus.
- Trematodes, or fluke worms - feline or Siberian fluke (causative agent of opisthorchiasis), schistosoma, hepatic fluke (causative agent of fascioliasis).
The localization of all these parasites in children is not only the intestines, but also the liver, lungs, muscles, heart, brain, gallbladder. In the body, they migrate through the blood vessels with the blood flow.
How does the infection occur and why?
Most often in Russia and Ukraine, cases of infection with nematodes (pinworms, roundworms), less often with whipworm are recorded. Diseases caused by tapeworms and fluke worms are not common in this region. From 2 to 5% of the registered cases of infestation by these parasites are attributed to the consequences of travel to exotic countries, contact with infected animals, the use of insufficiently fried and cooked meat and fish, as well as gross violation of sanitary rules. A large proportion of diseases in this group is due to the invasion of the broad tapeworm due to the consumption of uncooked river fish.
Pinworms and roundworms enter the body from dirty hands that are not well washed after communicating with animals, going to the toilet, before eating, as well as after soil particles from poorly washed vegetables, fruits, and herbs enter the digestive system. Contact with a person infected with nematodes is dangerous, the use of the same household items with him. The eggs of these parasites can enter the body of healthy people from banknotes and coins, from doorknobs and public transport seats.
Even after careful treatment of enterobiasis, the risk of self-infection is not excluded. Reinfection occurs after the cured host of pinworms again transfers their eggs into the oral cavity after contact with household items, where they got from his own hands after combing the anal area.
Younger preschoolers, due to the peculiarities of their age up to 5-6 years old, cannot independently observe the rules of personal hygiene, but they are extremely active. Kindergartens, playrooms in shopping centers, playgrounds in the open air are places of concentration otrits An additional factor of easy infection with parasites in children is the increased susceptibility of the child's body due to imperfect protective barriers of the digestive system.
The widespread occurrence of this disease in the children's environment is explained by the untimely and imperfect diagnosis of parasitic invasions. Mild symptoms of infection, their similarity to other diseases, prevent parents from establishing in time the real cause of the child's poor health.
With enterobiasis, the female pinworm does not go down into the rectum every day in order to lay eggs. Therefore, scraping for enterobiasis in some cases may be false-negative even in the presence of pinworms in the intestine. To detect a disease with a minor invasion, three times the analysis is required: first with a frequency of one day, and the third time - after 2 weeks.
Factors of increased risk of ascariasis and enterobiasis in children:
- A rare change of underwear (that is, it is not changed daily, it is better to do this 2 times a day, it is very important to change panties in the morning);
Unsanitary living conditions, flies and cockroaches in the home where the child is;
- Contact of a child with pets - possible carriers of eggs and larvae on the wool;
- Lack of the habit of regularly washing hands after walking, before eating, after using the toilet;
- The child's negative addictions to biting nails, sucking a pencil, toys, household items;
- The child has long and dirty nails;
- Insufficient hygienic processing of vegetables, fruits, herbs, and the use of such products for food.
Common signs of parasites in the body
Some types of parasites in children for many years may not manifest themselves in any way, noticeable symptoms are found only with a decrease in immunity. Researchers studying them, back in the last century, put forward the theory that these pathogens are the cause of many pathologies, including cancer.
It is difficult to find a child free from the carriage of viruses, larvae and eggs of parasites, pathogens. They disrupt the life of the child with their toxins, physical damage to tissues and organs, and cause serious diseases.
General symptoms of intoxication that appeared in adults and children due to parasitic invasion:
- Headache, dizziness;
- Nausea, increased salivation;
- Alternating constipation and diarrhea;
- Various manifestations of allergies;
- Excessive appetite, not accompanied by weight gain, or, conversely, lack of it;
- Pain in the abdomen or in the right hypochondrium of varying intensity;
- Inflammatory diseases of the nasopharynx (sinusitis, adenoids, sinusitis, polyps in the nose), diseases of the genital organs;
- Brittle nails and hair, as a result of vitamin deficiency and iron deficiency anemia;
- Nervous system disorders (irritability, insomnia or drowsiness, cognitive impairment, memory impairment) due to an increased concentration of toxins;
- Symptoms of anemia (decreased hemoglobin level, increased number of eosinophils) recorded in the results of blood tests;
- Allergy and intoxication manifestations that intensify after vaccinations.
What are the symptoms of pinworms in children
Pinworms are the causative agents of enterobiasis, which are small in size (no more than 1 cm). The carrier of enterobiasis can transfer pinworm eggs to clothes, doorknobs, household items, toys. The vitality of pinworms is large enough. For them, exposure to ultraviolet radiation, boiling is deadly. Disinfectants can not always completely disinfect objects infected with pinworms. The route of human infection with enterobiasis is fecal-oral. From the oral cavity, pinworm eggs enter the digestive tract, and in 2 weeks they reach sexual maturity. After that, the female begins to lay eggs herself.
A characteristic symptom of enterobiasis is itching in the anal area. It appears at night when the baby is warming up under the covers and his muscles relax. Thanks to this, the female easily penetrates into the baby's anus, lays up to 5 thousand eggs in the skin folds. The child unconsciously scratches the irritated skin, while the eggs fall under the nails, on clothes, underwear and bed linen, and on the skin of the hands.
Additional symptoms of enterobiasis in children:
- Itching in the anus leads to disturbances in children's sleep (anxiety, insomnia, intermittent disturbed sleep);
- Weight loss, differences in child's body mass indicators from age standards;
- Increased fatigue, excitability, anxiety, moodiness, learning disabilities, lack of attention;
- Enuresis, which is more common in girls, is due to pinworm irritation of the urethra;
- Vulvovaginitis and other inflammatory diseases of the vagina, provoked by the penetration of pinworms, possible infection and inflammation of the fallopian tubes;
- Acute appendicitis caused by the concentration of pinworms in the cecum;
- Presumably - gnashing of teeth in young children at night;
- Dyspeptic manifestations - alternation of constipation and diarrhea, enterocolitis with a protracted course, nausea, pain in the navel;
- A significant drop in immunity in children due to impaired absorption of nutrients and vitamins, a decrease in hemoglobin levels, often recurring infectious and viral diseases with a protracted course;
- Intoxication symptoms - weakness, frequent dizziness and headaches, nausea, weight loss.
Signs of ascariasis in a child
According to the statistics of laboratory studies for the presence of parasitic infections, it can be concluded that about 80% of preschool children have been treated or are currently being treated for parasitic infestation. Infection of this kind is a very serious problem, since the growing body loses most of the nutrients it needs so much, the internal organs of the child are affected, and it is intoxicated.
With such a dangerous invasion as ascariasis, its pathogens affect almost all organs: the brain, lungs, gastrointestinal tract, liver and gallbladder, heart, pancreas. Ascariasis is transmitted by the fecal-oral route, when eggs from the soil enter the oral cavity and then into the digestive system. Provoking factors are contact with soil and sand, non-observance of hygiene rules, the use of greens, vegetables and fruits with food particles, flies as carriers of eggs.
Ascaris eggs, trapped in the oral cavity and further into the small intestine, develop in it and become larvae. Ascaris larvae migrate to the liver, lungs and heart with the blood flow. Ascariasis manifests itself in children with a subfebrile temperature (up to 38 ° C), weakness, cough mixed with blood, general malaise, symptoms of obstructive bronchitis, asthma, pleurisy, pneumonia. X-ray examination diagnoses displaced pulmonary infiltrates.
At the initial stage of the disease, children are diagnosed with enlarged lymph nodes, enlarged liver and spleen. A characteristic symptom of ascariasis is allergic urticaria on the skin of the hands and feet, dermatitis.
In the intestinal phase of ascariasis, which begins 3 months after the introduction of the infection, roundworms move into the intestines. This happens when babies swallow phlegm from their lungs, which contains large numbers of larvae. Symptoms of the ingress of parasites in the intestines in children are dysfunctions of the digestive system (spasmodic abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, alternation of constipation and diarrhea, irritation of the anus skin). Immunity, lowered as a result of a long-term current disease, cannot resist infections - purulent processes of the skin and mucous membranes, relapses of stomatitis.
The toxic effect of ascaris waste products negatively affects the nervous system. Children develop mental and nervous system disorders: sleep disorders, seizures of the type of epileptic seizures. Symptoms such as a drop in blood pressure, photophobia, and enlarged pupils may appear. Complications of ascariasis are characterized by a severe course. These are peritonitis, acute appendicitis, obstructive jaundice and intestinal obstruction, arising from the fact that roundworms close the lumen of the intestines and bile ducts.
Signs of other parasitic infestations
Opisthorchiasis (causative agent - feline, or Siberian fluke) - disorders of the digestive system, hepatitis, liver enlargement, pain in the abdomen and in the right hypochondrium, skin rashes, manifestations of allergies, myocardial dystrophy, enlarged lymph nodes, catarrhal syndrome, joint pain, low-grade fever, violations of the blood formula (increased ESR, the number of eosinophils, decreased hemoglobin).
Trichocephalosis (causative agent - whipworm) - symptoms in children are minimal, dyspepsia, diarrhea mixed with blood, alternating with constipation, bloating, vomiting, with a massive long-term invasion, children are diagnosed with mental and physical lagging behind.
Diphyllobothriasis (causative agent - wide tapeworm Diofillobotrium latum), provoked by the consumption of fish that has not undergone full heat treatment - manifests itself in intestinal disorders, manifestations of allergies, anemia with a deficiency of vitamin B 12.
Hymenolepiasis (causative agent - rat, or dwarf tapeworm) - has no specific symptoms, can manifest itself as gastrointestinal disorders (pain, heartburn, alternating diarrhea and constipation, nausea, decreased appetite), allergic and vasomotor rhinitis, increased fatigue.
Toxocariasis (causative agent - toxocars, transmitted to children from infected cats and dogs) - pronounced manifestations of allergies (cough, suffocation, swelling of the face, fever, skin rash), eye damage (keratitis, ophthalmitis, choriretinitis), enlarged liver, lymph nodes, X-ray images - infiltrates in the lungs.
How to remove parasites from a child?
To remove parasites from children, the pharmaceutical industry produces a large number of antiparasitic drugs with a high degree of effectiveness. Almost all of them have a toxic effect on the child's body, therefore they are taken exclusively on the recommendation of an infectious disease doctor, parasitologist. Treatment is carried out according to the results of diagnostics, which determines the type of infection. Despite the fact that there are complex agents, specific drugs may be required to expel a specific species.
To stop the toxic effect of the waste products of parasites in children, manifested in the form of allergic reactions, the doctor prescribes antihistamines. In pediatrics, effective and safe drugs in the form of drops or suspensions (Zodak, Cetrin, Zirtek, Loratidin) are used for this purpose.
Effective remedies for the treatment of nematode infestation in children:
|Name of the medicine||Features, analogues and price|
|Pyrvinium, Helmintox (90-130 rubles), Nemocid, Pirantel-Kombantrin - drugs in this group are less toxic to the child's body|
|Albendazole - Vormil, Nemozol (130-150 rubles), Gelmodol-VM|
|Mebendazole - Vermox (90-100 rubles), Vermacar, Mebex, Termox, Vero-Mebendazole, Vormin (20-30 rubles) - drugs that effectively act both on adults and on their eggs and larvae are used for treatment severe invasion;|
|Has a minimum of contraindications;|
|Decaris (80-100 rubles).|
In most cases, with enterobiasis, a second course of therapy is carried out to prevent self-infection. The frequency of treatment courses is 2 weeks.
Folk recipes for removing parasites in children (eating garlic and pumpkin seeds) can serve as an auxiliary or prophylactic agent. The main treatment of the invasion is carried out with medicines.
Prevention of infestation by parasites
- Long-term heat treatment of meat and fish dishes.
- Thorough washing of herbs, berries, fruits, vegetables.
- Fight against insects - carriers of eggs and larvae (flies, cockroaches, mosquitoes).
- Pets are regularly treated for parasites.
- Washing hands with soap after contact with animals, soil, sand, after using the toilet, before eating.
- Processing nipples, toys, before giving them to the baby, as well as after falling on the floor, on the ground.
- Fighting bad habits: sucking pencils, pens, fingers, the habit of biting nails.
- Thorough care of nails, timely shortening, keeping them clean.
- In case of enterobiasis - the use of tight panties to prevent the spread of pinworms in bed at night.
- Ironing children's underwear with a hot iron after washing.
- With enterobiasis, frequent change of underwear (2 times a day), hygienic washing of the anus and the area around it with soap.
3 myths about parasites
Myth one: Absolutely all pets are carriers of infection. Pet owners disagree with this statement. They believe that it is their pet that is completely healthy and does not need treatment.
Reality: Any animal, even outwardly healthy in appearance, can become a carrier of the disease (cats, dogs, decorative rodents).
Myth two: Preventive treatment of parasitic infections in pets is carried out only before vaccinations.
Reality: To be completely sure that a pet is completely healthy, you need to carry out such prevention at least 4 times a year, that is, quarterly.
Attention: veterinary drugs against parasites cannot be used to treat humans!
Myth Three: To provide cats and dogs with nutrients and to raise the mood of your pet, you need to feed him with raw meat from time to time.
Reality: The nutrients in modern pet foods are balanced to meet all the needs of pets. Raw meat and fish are a risk factor for parasite infestation.
The author of the article: Sokolova Praskovya Fedorovna | Pediatrician
Education: Diploma in the specialty "General Medicine" received at the Volgograd State Medical University. A specialist certificate was immediately received in 2014.
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