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Lice & Worms

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What are Lice and Worms?

Lice

Lice are parasitic insects. They come in three general forms; head lice, body lice and pubic lice. These annoying creatures bite and feed on human blood, much like fleas do on animals. While each variety is a nuisance in its own right, body lice are the only ones known to spread disease.

Worms

There are three basic types of worms that infect humans; tapeworms, roundworms and screwworms. Most worms are transmitted through the ingestion of tainted, raw or undercooked meat or fish; contact with carriers, such as insects or infected animals and people; or via contaminated drinking water.

Lice & Worm Symptoms

Symptoms of lice may not emerge until a week or more after exposure. The first indication that lice may be present is typically itching or scratching in the affected area. However, lice are not microscopic and can be seen with the naked eye, so noticing an egg or even an adult louse is likely.

In many situations, worms can be difficult to detect because there are no associated symptoms. Still, there are, at times, indications that worms may be present; movement or presence of worm segments in stool or bowel movements, coughing up blood, fever, itching, unexplained rash, weakness, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, weight loss, hunger, loss of appetite, paleness or loss of color, and vitamin or mineral deficiencies.

Treatments

Treatments for lice are lice spray and medicated lice shampoo, but the process of treating a lice infestation is not as simple as washing them away. Even after treatment with lice spray and lice shampoo, all bedding and clothing should be washed and the affected person's hair, as well as anyone else's who has been in close contact with them, must be rigorously combed with a fine-tooth comb, to remove residual nits, larvae and adult lice. In addition, the shampoo treatment must be repeated within a few days, to treat any new arrivals.

Treatment for worms depends on the type of worms that are present and usually requires the professional intervention of a physician.