Epidemiology & Risk Factors


Whipworm is a soil-transmitted helminth (STH) and is the third most common roundworm of humans. Whipworm causes an infection called trichuriasis and often occurs in areas where human feces is used as fertilizer or where defecation onto soil happens. The worms are spread from person to person by fecal-oral transmission or through feces-contaminated food.

Geographic Distribution

Worldwide, infection occurs more frequently in areas with tropical weather, where access to personal hygiene and proper sanitation practices are not available, and among children. In 2002, the estimated number of persons infected with whipworm was 1 billion. Trichuriasis also occurs in the southern United States.

Page last reviewed: December 23, 2020