Here’s Exactly What You Should Do If You Suspect You Have… Worms

The low down on the wriggly parasites.


Ondela Mlandu |

I don’t know about you, but de-worming was a major deal in our household. School holidays in our home, was when my stomach would “get a detox”.

When you’re younger, you’re more exposed to dirt, you may occasionally forget to wash your hands after every bathroom run and who knows what playing in the mud comes with.

Now, I am a grown woman who lives alone, with no mother to tell me to clean my insides, I occasionally devour sushi and has recently learnt that sushi can put me at risk of getting parasites in my body. Physician Dr Sharon Williams spoke to Women’s Health about the causes of parasites.

Are worms classified as parasites?

“Tapeworms, flatworms, hookworms and roundworms are classified as parasites, but not all parasites infect humans. Parasites are a single cell parasites like Giardia and ectoparasites such as mosquitos, ticks, fleas and lice,” says Dr Williams.

These organisms live within another organism of a different species, and this is how they get their nutrients, from the other “host” organism.

READ MORE: 12 Totally Natural, Genius Ways To Relieve Bug Bites

The causes?

Tapeworms and roundworms are found in fish and meat, that we humans eat. Parasites can also be found in vegetables and drinking contaminated water, where sanitation is poor. Our furry friends are also sometimes carriers of worms and boy do we love to cuddle and hold them.

The symptoms.

Symptoms of a parasitic infection are felt in your abdominal area. You may also experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal distention and mild fever.  Allergic reaction such as a rash and itching can also occur.

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Prevention is better than cure.

Dr Sharon Williams says, there is a way for you to avoid getting worms. She also advises the below:

  1. Avoid raw, undercooked meat, fish, or poultry.
  2.  Cook animal products adequately.
  3. Avoid cross-contamination during food preparation, by keeping meat separate from other foods.
  4. Thoroughly clean utensils and cutting boards, as well as the countertops that have been in contact with the raw animal products.
  5. Thoroughly washing raw vegetables.
  6. While pets may be affectionate, try to keep them from licking your face and hands. Washing hands after cuddling and playing with pets.

READ MORE ON: Health Health Advice