Whipworm infestation

Small, cylindrical whip-like worms, 2.5–5 cm long, that live in the human large intestine. Infestation occurs worldwide but is most common in the tropics. Light infestation causes no symptoms; heavy infestation can cause abdominal pain, diarrhoea, and, sometimes, anaemia, since a small amount of the host’s blood is consumed every day. Diagnosis is through the identification of whipworm eggs in the faeces. Treatment is with anthelmintic drugs, such as mebendazole. A heavy infestation may require more than 1 course of treatment.


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