There are many different types of worms that can live in humans- this blog post gives details on 5 of them!
These worms are spread by mosquitos and are responsible for lymphatic filariasis, also known as elephantiasis (shown in the pictures below) . This condition is a result of worms nesting in the persons lymphatic system. Prevention of these conditions is possible however once the condition is in full force, medication can only stop further worm growth not remove the worms altogether.
These worms are small and get into the bloodstream of people through skin contact in contaminated water and soil. They cause a disease called schistosomiasis, which affects >240 million people worldwide. Symptoms include a swollen belly, bloody urine and a high fever. Thankfully treatments are available for this infection!
Interestingly the male and female schistosomes actually live attached to each other in a form of permanent sexual activity (see below- the smaller worm on the inside is the female and the outer part is the male!).
Tapeworms can be contracted from contaminated food or from exposure to an infected person's poo. Symptoms include vomiting and stomach pain. These worms can grow up to 9 m long inside a person- terrifying! Luckily, single tablets of medication can be used to clear this infection.
These worms live in soil contaminated by human poo- these worms enter the body by either walking barefoot (see the picture on the right below) or by eating with unwashed contaminated hands. Hookworms can cause diarrhoea, unexpected weight loss, fatigue and anaemia. Once diagnosed, anti-worm medication can be used to treat this infection.
Roundworm is acquired by swallowing worm eggs in contaminated food. This is less common in the UK than it is in some places around the world. Roundworms often don't cause any symptoms and are treated with medication including mebendazole and piperazine. Giant roundworm however is more gruesome and can have serious consequences (see image below). Roundworm infections can be treated with medication, including mebendazole, piperazine, and albendazole.