Ascariasis

The causative agent in ascariasis is the giant roundworm Ascaris lumbricoides, which is found worldwide and is responsible about 4 million infections in the United States (it primarily affects residents of the Appalachian mountain range and the Gulf Coast

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states). Migration of the worm into the lungs usually produces pneumonitis, fever, cough, eosinophilic and pulmonary infiltrates. Ascaris infection can also cause abdominal discomfort, intestinal obstruction, and appendicitis. Diagnosis is made by detection of the characteristic eggs in the stool or passed worms.

Treatment

In both adults and pediatric patients older than 2 years of age, mebendazole 100 mg orally twice daily for 3 days is the treatment to use. An alternative agent is pyrantel pamoate (Antiminth).12 The stool should be checked within 2 weeks and the patient retreated when warranted.

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