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Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Infections with whipworm are common all over the world under unhygienic conditions.
Infection takes place by the ingestion of earth or food contaminated with ova which have become infective after lying for 3 weeks or more in moist soil. The adult worm is 3-5cm long and has a coiled anterior and resembling a whip. Whip worms inhabit the caecum, lower ileum, appendix, colon and anal canal.
Clinical features
There are usually no symptoms, but intense infections in children may cause persistent diarrhoea or rectal prolapse.
The diagnosis is readily made by identifying ova in faeces.
Treatment is with mebendazole in doses of 100 mg twice daily for 3-5 days or a single dose of oxantel.

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