Symptoms of Hookworm


General information about symptoms of Hookworm: The symptom information on this page attempts to provide a list of some possible symptoms of Hookworm. This symptom information has been gathered from various sources, may not be fully accurate, and may not be the full list of symptoms of Hookworm. Furthermore, symptoms of Hookworm may vary on an individual basis for each patient. Only your doctor can provide adequate diagnosis of symptoms and whether they are indeed symptoms of Hookworm.

List of symptoms of Hookworm: The list of symptoms mentioned in various sources for Hookworm includes:

Symptoms of Hookworm: Itching and a rash at the site of where skin touched soil or sand is usually the first sign of infection. These symptoms occur when the larvae penetrate the skin. While a light infection may cause no symptoms, heavy infection can cause anemia, abdominal pain, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and weight loss. Heavy, chronic infections can cause stunted growth and mental development. 1

Diarrhea, particularly in person who has never been infected, sometimes starts as the worms mature in the intestines and before eggs appear in the stool. Other signs and symptoms at this stage include vague abdominal pain, intestinal cramps, colic, and nausea.

Scientists have learned that people in good health and on a diet containing adequate iron can tolerate the presence of these worms in small or moderate numbers without having problems. In chronic infections, if the number of parasites becomes great enough, a person can develop serious anemia because of blood loss from the worms attaching themselves to the intestine and sucking the blood and tissue juices.

If humans come into contact with larvae of the dog hookworm or the cat hookworm, or larvae of certain other hookworms that do not infect humans, the larvae may penetrate the skin. But these larvae cannot complete their migratory cycle in humans. Instead, they move just below the skin producing snake-like markings and intense itching. This is referred to as a creeping eruption or cutaneous larva migrans.

Ancylostoma canium, an illness caused by a particular species of dog hookworm, has been described in Australia. This worm may almost complete its development in the lower small intestine, but produces a severe inflammatory reaction in the bowel, causing abdominal pain, diarrhea, and an increase in certain white blood cells called eosinophils.2

More symptoms of Hookworm: In addition to the above information, to get a full picture of the possible symptoms of this condition and its related conditions, it may be necessary to examine symptoms that may be caused by complications of Hookworm, underlying causes of Hookworm, associated conditions for Hookworm, risk factors for Hookworm, or other related conditions.

Medical articles on symptoms: These general reference articles may be of interest:

1. excerpt from Hookworm Infection: DPD
2. excerpt from Parasitic Roundworm Diseases, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID

Last revision: April 9, 2003

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