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Monday, March 28, 2011

CAPILLARIASIS

Infection with Capillaria philippinensis suddenly appeared as an epidemic in the Philippines in the 1960s and in Thailand. Fresh water fish are intermediate hosts.

Clinical features
Adult worms 2-4 mm long invade the jejunal mucosa, causing abdominal pain with severe diarrhoea and malabsorption.
Diagnosis
Eggs resembling those of Trichuris are passed in the faeces.
Management
Mortality is high in untreated subjects but mebendazole (200 mg b.d. for weeks) is effective.
Prevention of intestinal nematodes infections
Most of these worms are transmitted through contaminated soil or unwashed hands. Safe disposal of faeces, the provision of clean drinking water and strict personal hygiene form the basis of control. Mass treatment at yearly intervals is also useful. Capillariasis is prevented by cooking fish.

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