Drugs Information Online
Drugs and diseases reference index

Drugs and diseases reference index
Search
EN

Diseases reference index «Whipworm infection»

Whipworm infectionWhipworm infection

Whipworm infection is an infection of the large intestine with a type of roundworm.

Causes

Whipworm infection is caused by the roundworm, Trichocephalus trichiura. It is a common infection that mainly affects children.

Children may become infected if they swallow soil contaminated with whipworm eggs. When the eggs hatch inside the body, the whipworm sticks inside the wall of the large intestine.

Whipworm is found throughout the world, especially in countries with warm, humid climates. The main risk factor for infection is swallowing soil contaminated with feces. Some outbreaks have been traced to contaminated vegetables (believed to be due to soil contamination).

Symptoms

Symptoms range from mild to severe. Sometimes, there are no symptoms. A severe infection may cause:

  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Iron-deficiency anemia
  • Fecal incontinence (during sleep)
  • Rectal prolapse

Exams and Tests

A stool ova and parasites exam reveals the presence of whipworm eggs.

Treatment

Mebendazole taken by mouth for 3 days is commonly prescribed when the infection causes symptoms. Albendazole is used as an alternative therapy.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Full recovery is expected with treatment.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Seek medical attention if you or your child develop bloody diarrhea. In addition to whipworm, there are many other infections and illnesses that can cause similar symptoms.

Prevention

Improved facilities for feces disposal have decreased the incidence of whipworm.

Always wash your hands before handling food. Thoroughly washing food may also help prevent this condition.

Alternative Names

Trichuriasis

Comment «Whipworm infection»