How are hookworms transmitted from dogs to humans?


Quick Answer

Hookworm transmission from dogs to humans occurs when people consume the parasite larvae unintentionally. This may occur through making contact with an infected dog prior to eating, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. Hookworm larvae can also penetrate people's skin. Signs and symptoms of hookworm skin infections include red areas that resemble tunnels, as the parasites migrate under the skin and significant itching. Intestinal infections occur when people and dogs ingest hookworms.

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Full Answer

Diseases transmitted from animals to people are zoonotic diseases, explains the American Veterinary Medical Association. Disease transmission can occur through contact with surfaces that dogs touch, or it can occur from dogs directly.

One type of canine hookworm is Ancylostoma braziliense, which is sometimes found along the Gulf Coast in the United States and from Florida to North Carolina, according to the Merck Manual. Ancylostoma braziliense causes dermatitis in dogs when the larvae invade their skin. The primary hookworm infections in cooler regions such as Canada and the northern United States come from Uncinaria stenocephala. Dog caretakers can disinfect outdoor dog activity areas, such as concrete runways, by washing them two times or more weekly during warm weather. Decontaminating sandy or sunlit clay areas with sodium borate is effective.

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