Childhood Diseases

Ascariasis in children: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Ascariasis in children

Ascariasis in children develops when the infection of a child with roundworms. Ascariasis in children can be manifested by malaise, fever, local allergic reactions, cough, abdominal and astheno-vegetative syndromes, digestive disorders, weight loss. Diagnosis of ascariasis in children includes analysis of clinical and epidemiological data, results of general blood analysis, serological studies, and analysis of feces for helminth eggs.

Ascariasis is one of the most common worm infections (helminthiasis) caused by the parasitic roundworm Ascaris lumbricoides. Ascarids can parasitize in various organs of the child, but their main habitat is the small intestine. Ascariasis in children refers to anthroponotic geo-helminthiasis; the only biological host of helminth is a human, and egg maturation occurs in the soil.

Causes and pathogenesis of ascariasis in children

The source of infection of the soil with helminth eggs is a person with ascariasis. The ascarids themselves are not viable in the external environment, and their eggs can remain in the soil for many years. Infection with ascariasis in children is carried out by a fecal-oral route when ingesting ascarid eggs with larvae that have matured to the invasive stage.

The greatest risk of infection with ascariasis in children is in summer and autumn due to insufficient compliance with personal hygiene rules after contact with the ground and grass (while walking on the Playground, in the sandbox); when using unwashed vegetables, fruits, herbs, and unboiled water.

The life cycle of Ascaris includes several phases of development. Larvae are released from Mature ascarid eggs that enter the intestines and enter the portal vein through the mucous membrane and, circulating through the bloodstream, spread to the liver, gall bladder, right ventricle of the heart, lungs, and bronchi.

Symptoms of ascariasis in children

Ascariasis in children with a small number of parasites can occur in an erased form. Sometimes severe manifestations of intoxication and allergies may occur in a child in the first weeks after infection with ascariasis (in the early migration stage).

There are General malaise, fever up to 38°C, pain behind the sternum, allergic rash and itchy skin, cough with dry or mucous sputum, sometimes pleurisy. With ascariasis in children, there is an increase in the liver, spleen, and lymph nodes.

In the intestinal stage of ascariasis in children, symptoms of digestive disorders predominate, associated with a decrease in the acidity of gastric juice and the activity of enzymes, deterioration of the processes of digestion and absorption of nutrients. With ascariasis, children begin to worry about periodic abdominal pain (abdominal syndrome), lack of appetite, sometimes; aversion to food, increased salivation, nausea, intolerance to certain foods, flatulence, and unstable stools, weight loss, frequent colds.

Treatment of ascariasis in children

Children with an established diagnosis of ascariasis are prescribed anthelmintic drug therapy; the type of drugs and the duration of treatment are selected by a pediatrician, depending on the severity of the disease.

In the early migration stage of ascariasis in children, desensitizing and antihelminthic agents are prescribed; tiabendazole or mebendazole, which have a wide range of anti-hematologic activity. Pulmonary manifestations are stopped by taking bronchodilators and corticosteroids.

The effectiveness of the treatment of ascariasis in children with these drugs is 80-100%. A month after treatment, a control examination of the child is performed.

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