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The Burden of Trichuriasis (Whipworm)

Adult male T. trichiura removed during a colonoscopy. Credit: DPDx

Adult male T. trichiura removed during a colonoscopy. Credit: DPDx

Trichuriasis is an infection of the large intestine caused by the human whipworm, which is part of the family of parasites known as the soil-transmitted helminths. Whipworms live in warm, humid tropical climates and infect 604 million people worldwide. Trichuriasis is transmitted when a person accidentally eats something that has been contaminated by soil containing human feces.

Children are at high risk for whipworm because they often play outside in the dirt or soil and put their hands in their mouths without washing them. Long-term or repeated infections with whipworm can cause serious health problems including malnutrition, anemia, and physical growth retardation, particularly in children.

More on: Trichuriasis (Whipworm)

 
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  • Page last reviewed: June 6, 2011
  • Page last updated: June 6, 2011
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