Sunday, March 8, 2015

Soil-Transmitted Helminths (STH's)

STH are a groups of diseases that can infect humans through soil that has been contaminated with faecal matter. They are most common in developing countries and about two million people worldwide have been infected with it. It is found in warm and moist climates where sanitation and hygiene is poor and the water is unsafe. Soil transmitted helminthes occur when a person defecates outside near a garden, river or field or if the feces of an infected person are used as fertilizer which then deposits the eggs of the worms in the soil. Common types of helminthes are ascaris, whipworm and hookworm.  People are infected with ascaris when the contaminated soil is used as fertilizer people that come in contact with the contaminated soil and touch their mouth or do not carefully cook and consume the vegetables or fruits from the garden of contaminated soil. Hookworm eggs hatch in soil and release larvae and can be transmitted through penetration of human skin by walking barefoot on the soil. STH  can cause diarrhea, abdominal pain, anemia and also effect growth and cognitive development. The first step to prevent STH’s is to improving sanitation, spreading the word on personal hygiene and health education. 


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