Roundworms Can Infect Humans And Animals.
Roundworms are parasites that thrive in the intestinal tract. Cats and dogs are prone to become infected with them at some time in their lives, usually as kittens and puppies. Roundworms may be contracted in different ways, making them easy to spread and hard to control.
Cats may ingest infective roundworm eggs from the area where it lives or by eating mice or other small animals ("hosts") carrying young worms (larvae) - Toxascara leonina. Infection in kittens may also occur through the mother's milk - Toxocara cati.
Most cats will not have signs of infection; however, cats with major roundworm infections commonly show weight loss, vomit, dull hair, and a pale appearance. If the roundworms get into the cat's lungs, he/she may cough. Since your cat can become infected at an young age, you should consult your veterinarian in order to get the right treatment.
Also make sure your cat's living area and litter box are clean, and if possible prevent your cat from eating wild animals that may carry roundworms.
Children are prone to contract them while playing in dirt, sand and at school. This worm enters the body as eggs through contaminated dirt, food, water, objects and hands. While in most cases roundworms get access to the human body through the mouth, there are some roundworms that enter the human body through the skin.
Humans that contract this worm can suffer from mild to severe symptoms, depending on the type of worm and its number in the human body.
Common symptoms of roundworms found in humans include: weight loss or inability to gain weight, diarrhea, lack of appetite, abdominal pain, fatigue, irritability, malnutrition, insomnia, nausea/vomiting, and blood in stool.
If you believe that you've been exposed to the roundworm and are experiencing any of these symptoms, you must contact your doctor immediately.
Again, to prevent against such parasites be sure to practice good personal hygiene - make it a habit to wash your hands properly before eating, and clean fruit and vegetables thoroughly before consumption.
Also make sure you deworm your house pets, and do not allow your kids to play in potentially contaminated environments. The proper medication and the number of treatments will depend on your cat's age and current health, your veterinarian will recommend the right treatment for your cat.
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