What are Hookworms

by Prachee last updated -

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Hookworm infection is one of the most widespread parasitic infections in the world, affecting nearly half a billion people annually. This affliction is caused by bloodsucking hookworms. Let us learn more about these deadly parasites.


Hookworms are parasites that enter the body through the skin or through ingestion. They can cause a number of health complications. The two species of hookworms that specifically infect human beings are Ancylostoma duodenale and Necator americanus.

According to a study published in the Advances in Parasitology journal, the origins of the scientific study of this infection can be traced back to the early years of the 20th century. In 1901, it was found to be hyperendemic to Puerto Rico and this led to understanding its impact on public health.

These worms affect people on every continent, and the trouble with these infections is the lack of specific symptoms. Anemia (iron deficiency) and protein deficiencies occur after an extended infection, due to the worms’ bloodsucking nature.

Minor symptoms of hookworm infection can include:

  • Stomach distress
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

In extremely serious infections, the lack of nutrients in the body can cause cardiac arrest. But these worms are not typically considered lethal. They can contribute to higher levels of maternal and child morbidity due to the deficiency of nutrients.


They are an annoyance that can complicate the immune system’s responsiveness and lead to other illnesses, so eliminating hookworms is very important. Worms are commonly passed from pets to owners, as well as through infected food and water supplies, particularly in developing nations, where most hookworm infections are found.

The medicinal remedies for hookworms include anthelmintic drugs, but they can be harsh on the system and don’t guarantee the complete elimination of the worms. Therefore, natural and herbal remedies for hookworms have become very popular, and have proven quite effective.

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About the Author

Prachee is a content writer for Organic Facts and is responsible for writing on the latest wellness trends. A former Journalism & Media teacher, she prides herself on being able to seamlessly dabble between health, science, and technology. She has completed her Masters in Communication Studies from the University of Pune, India and is currently pursuing an online course on “Introduction to Food and Health” from Stanford University, US. Prachee fancies herself to be a poet and a cook when the rare lightning of inspiration strikes.

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