It is good to appreciate researchers who have in-depth knowledge of names associated with diseases unknown to a lay man. Nigeria which happens to be my motherland had this Ascariasis lumbricoide outbreak. A. lumbricoide was common with poor hygiene areas back in Africa and it affected children the most because of the lack of understanding of clean and proper hygiene and importance of clean environment. Developing countries battled with ascariasis as it claimed lot of lives as a result of kids who lived in rural areas.
They defecate and not wash hands and eat with same hands either consciously or unconsciously. Ascariasis is an imminent infection that affected over 804 million people worldwide in 2013. A. lumbricoide lives in the small intestine and could survive up to 24 months in the jejunum. It is good to understand this happened to children in underdeveloped nations as they get infected from contaminated soil of hands which seems to be an everyday life style for them.
In the United States, only about 4 million cases were reported in 1974 because it was studied, and report had shown that the disease was more dominant on the immigrant children where lower immunity were prevalent.
As mentioned in the first paragraph, the underdeveloped nations were more exposed to the disease with little or no treatment. Women used latrine in an open space with feces everywhere littering the ground/soil (common in the rural areas) were flies and larvae would breed on and then transfer the diseases from one to another. (Oninla SO, 2007) Lack of education was a major contribution to the spread of this disease as the people believed in feces to be a natural manure for their produce to grow which was worse, unknown to them that it was a leading cause to the deaths of people.
A review was made, and nematodes was suggested in controlling pest around. A. lumbricoide sometimes is traceable to cholera and malaria as an outbreak itself and lots of lives were gone as a result of the terrible epidemy. Children complained a lot of stomach pain which is a common symptom of ascariasis. Combantrin (a medication that helps deworm kids) in Nigeria especially was effective for those complaining of stomach pain, uncontrollable vomit and loose stool all at same time. There was also an adult type combantrin dosage used for treating adults who complained of same issue. At least, that helped the nation with a small ratio. The medicine was common and an unprescribed compulsory treatment in these affected nations which was way of not taking unknown chances because if anyone in a family complains of symptoms associated with round worm, it obviously meant everyone in the family living under same roof had contacted it as well, they therefore give everyone combantrin dosage to curb the easily spread disease. Symptoms of A. lumbricoide includes vomiting, losing of weight, stomach pain, inability to eat or retain eaten food in the stomach, growth impairment and sometimes high body temperature.
Apart from combantrin being an active and reliable a dosage used for treatment, other prescribed medicines like Albendazole, Ivermectin, and Mebendazole (it could be chewed or put in food) are used in treating Ascariasis. In developed nations where individuals suffered from this disease, stools can be collected for sampling of parasites. Most patients diagnosed with A. lumbricoide could be sent in for further test via X-rays, ultrasound scan, and sometimes magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. ((Steinmann P U. J., 2011)
According to World Health Organization’s meeting held in Geneva, Switzerland, in April and July 2011, strategic plans was discussed on how to totally put an end to soil- transmitted diseases in children like that of A. lumbricoide. The meeting pointed out the epidermis was a public-health issue that would need a drastic intervention because it resulted to more than 1% of the population being at risk. The purpose of the program was also focused on eliminating morbidity in such nations. Preventive chemotherapy was recommended for children starting from pre-school ages and women who were still in the reproductive years. WHO has been working so hard not to ignore a group of diseases that had been long overlooked. Though a time-line had been set for year 2020 to make their 100 % coverage achievable (currently at 75% which is considered a good global strategy) alongside governmental parastatals with their commitment and ability to properly coordinate available resources towards the goal. The program pulled together companies like GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson who made medicines readily available by also partnering with major stakeholders to offer a resounding opportunity.
There are various ways to help patients control A. lumbricoide. A continuous education would help reduce the spread of contamination resulting from hand to mouth, proper handwashing, fully cooked foods, controlled pesticides on food farms, washing of raw vegetables and fruits (food safety) and eating at a place only trusted by the individuals. Also, deworming kids every school year would help reduce the effect of the deadly intestine disease. There are deworming programs by WHO that can help set the guidelines towards achieving the success (Dold C, 2011). As an effort to make the continuity of getting rid of morbidity in these nations, countries who consume more of pig meat needs to follow quality butchering standard as to ensure hygienic consumption of pork. Excretes from pig in epidemic areas should not be distributed or used for fertilization as this could have been contaminated. According to Center for Diseases and Control (CDC), people should endeavor to adhere to corrections on preventing the spread of the roundworm diseases especially taking advantage of education given in the market place, schools, play area and worship centers as this will help WHO get closer to bringing an end to the epidemic infection. Also, hospitals and clinical centers providing treatment for the infected patients should get into the habit of constantly sanitizing their palms/hands before and after attending to each patient so as not to spread the diseases within the hospital. It is also possible to excrete A. lumbricoide (reddish worm) after treatment just like the case of the 6 years old boy who was admitted for symptoms related to A. lumbricoide far away in Japan. The young patient was diagnosed, and an ultrasound scan helped give the proper image of the round worm in the patient’s intestine. He was given pyrantel pamoate few days after he was admitted and on the 5th day of admission, he excreted a 20 cm long A. lumbricoides worm. There was a great relieve of himself, his parents and likewise the doctors. This is a great encouragement for patients and everyone to take seriously the importance of education on certain ways to prevent certain diseases. We cannot overlook the simple importance of handwashing especially when we know children are so quick to putting hands in their mouths. The CDC, WHO has done a great job in helping eradicate this disease as much as they could.
Finally, staying up to date with immunizations before travelling to endemic areas especially when going with children and remembering to take important things like hand sanitizers along just in case there are no access to water for washing hands would be of huge help. Also, checking with healthcare provider(s) for travel safety will be a very good idea if at all it is necessary to travel.