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How do you recognize an asceris worm infection?

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Quick Answer

According to Mayo Clinic, most cases of ascariasis show no identifiable symptoms. In cases that become symptomatic, the expressed symptoms depend on which stage of the Ascaris life cycle the worms are in. Ascaris lumbricoides worms typically migrate between the gut and the lungs, and they cause a different set of symptoms in each location.

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Full Answer

Ascariasis begins with the oral consumption of material contaminated with Ascaris worm eggs. These hatch in the gut, and they migrate through the lymphatic system to the lungs. Early on, according to Mayo Clinic, it is common for infected patients to show no visible symptoms of infection. Once the worms reach the lungs, they cause considerable damage to tissue and induce a productive, hacking cough. This cough brings up sputum that is contaminated with adolescent worms, some of which are then swallowed and returned to the gut. There, the symptoms of ascariasis shift to gastrointestinal discomfort, abdominal pains and diarrhea that is sometimes bloody. While in the gut, the worms also cause nausea and vomiting. In severe cases, those with a large population of worms present, the patient experiences weight loss and fatigue, as well as the presence of worms in either vomit or stool.

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