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Ascariasis
Ascariasis , or roundworm infection of the intestines, is common throughout the world in both temperate and tropical areas where sanitation and hygiene are poor. In those areas, everyone may be harboring the parasite. Ascariasis is one of the most common human parasitic infections caused by the parasitic roundworm Ascaris lumbricoides. Infection occurs through ingestion of food contaminated with feces containing Ascaris eggs. The larvae hatch, burrow through the intestine, reach the lungs, and finally migrate up the respiratory tract. From there they are then reswallowed and mature in the intestine, growing up to 30 cm (12 in.) in length and anchoring themselves to the intestinal wall. Infections are usually asymptomatic, especially if the number of worms is small. They may however be accompanied by inflammation, fever, and diarrhea, and serious problems may develop if the worms migrate to other parts of the body. An estimated 1.4 billion people worldwide have ascariasis, and the disease is most common in children between the ages of 3 and 8. According to the World Health Organization, ascariasis causes approximately 60,000 deaths annually worldwide.


 
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