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Intestinal Parasites Symptoms

Parasites that are found in the gastrointestinal tract are called intestinal parasites. Even though these parasites can live throughout the whole body, they are mostly found in the intestinal walls. A person can get these parasites by the intake of some meat that is undercooked, drinking infected water, and through skin absorption.

Protozoans and parasitic worms or helminths are considered to be the major parasitic groups. Protozoans are organisms that have only one cell. People who are infected with HIV usually have protozoan types of parasites like cryptosporidium, microsporidia, and andisospora. These parasites attack the digestive tract, and it is not rare that two or three of these parasites do that at the same time.


Parasites enter the human system, usually, through the mouth via unwashed or undercooked food, infected water, or hands, or they can enter by skin contact with larvae-infected soil. These parasites usually stay in the intestine where they reproduce and cause certain symptoms.

Children are more frequently affected by the parasites than adults. It is because the kids are usually not sterilized properly after possible contact with the infected soil. Sometimes, people are not aware of the symptoms of intestinal parasites. Chronic fatigue and irritable bowel syndrome could be the symptoms, but people are more likely to neglect them.

There are various types of parasites. Some cause irritation and problems with normal bodily functions. On the other hand, some parasites destroy the host tissues and cause diseases by releasing toxins into the body. It is not uncommon for a person to pick up some parasites while swimming in a lake or a stream that has been infected.

What Are the Symptoms of Intestinal Parasites?

A person may have parasites if he or she experiences itchiness in the nose, ears, and anus. Chronic bloating and gases could mean that a person is infected with parasites as well. Some symptoms do not even need to be connected to the bowel. They include mental confusion, allergies, food or chemical sensitivities, rashes, and even blurry vision. In these cases, not many people connect them with the parasite infection.

Constipation, diarrhea, and indigestion are more common symptoms of intestinal parasites. Also, if a person eats more than he or she needs and still feels hungry afterward, that is a symptom of intestinal parasites as well. Some other symptoms include poor immune functions, lack of sex drive, mouth sores, numbness, burning sensations, chronic fatigue, bladder infections, and thrush.

Intestinal parasitic infections are among the major public health problems in Sub-Saharan Africa. Their distribution is mainly associated with poor personal hygiene, environmental sanitation and limited access to clean water. Indeed, epidemiological information on the prevalence of various intestinal parasitic infections in different localities is a prerequisite to develop appropriate control measures. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections and associated risk factors among schoolchildren.
  • This school-based cross-sectional study was undertaken at the University of Gondar Community School from April 2012 to June 2012. Study subjects were selected using a systematic random sampling method. Data were gathered through direct interview by using a pretested questionnaire.
  • The collected stool specimens were examined microscopically for the presence of eggs, cysts and trophozoites of intestinal parasites using direct saline smear and formol-ether concentration methods. Data entry and analysis were done using SPSS version 16 software.
  • Out of 304 study subjects, 104 (34.2%) were infected with one or more intestinal parasites. The prevalence rate was 43 (32.1%) for male and 61 (35.9%) for female. The prevalence of intestinal parasites was high in age group of 10–12 years compared to other age groups. The predominant intestinal parasite was Hymenolepis nana, followed by Entamoeba histolytica/dispar and Ascaris lumbricoides with 42 (13.8%), 28 (9.2%), 18 (5.9%), respectively.
  • Hand washing practice and ways of transportation were statistically associated with intestinal parasitic infections. Children in grades 1 to 3 had a higher prevalence of intestinal helminthic infection than those in grades 4 to 8 (p?=?0.031).
✓ Fact confirmed: Prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections and risk factors among schoolchildren at the University of Gondar Community School, Northwest Ethiopia: a cross-sectional study Aschalew Gelaw, Belay Anagaw, Bethel Nigussie, Betrearon Silesh, Atnad Yirga, Meseret Alem, Mengistu Endris & Baye Gelaw; 05 April 2013

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