Did You Know Good Hygiene Can Prevent Parasitic Worms?
Good personal hygiene is one of the best and most effective ways to prevent the contraction of a parasitic worm. According to MedicineNet, a parasitic worm is a disease-causing organism that lives on or in human or other animals and derives its nourishment from its host. Parasitic worms can be transferred to humans in many ways, including through animal feces, through touching an infected animal’s fur, through food, and several other forms of transmission. That being said, it is very important to practice good hygiene to prevent you or a member of your family from contracting a parasite.
Some People Are More Vulnerable Than Others
There are two main factors that contribute to the likelihood of someone contracting a parasitic worm. The first factor is the immune strength of the host. In a healthy person, the immune system is highly developed and can fight off most viruses, bacteria, parasites, etc.
Those in underdeveloped countries and people with weak and compromised immune systems are more vulnerable to pathogens like parasitic worms. The second main factor is the host’s daily diet. Many pathogens feed on processed foods and sugars as their preferred source of energy.
Personal hygiene is key!
Practicing good hygiene is the best way to prevent a parasitic worm infestation. Good hygiene will boost your immune system and keep pathogens away. Cleanliness is not only important for you, but it is important for everyone in your family!
Wash your hands – This is perhaps one of the most important and beneficial things you can do. Always wash your hands before and after using the bathroom, after playing outside, after touching animals, and after you are around people who are sick. This will not only prevent a parasitic worm infestation but many other diseases and illnesses as well!
Bathe and shower frequently – Parasites can live on and in the skin, so take showers frequently to make sure there are no worms or eggs on your body.
Avoid fingernail biting & Keep fingernails short – Parasitic worms and eggs can hide under your nails. Biting them can transfer the parasite into your mouth and allow the parasite to infect your body. Keeping your nails short will prevent dirt, feces, and potential parasites from getting stuck under your nails. It is also recommended to clip your toenails often as well.
Avoid scratching the skin around your anus. If you have an itchy bottom, this may be a sign that you potentially have a worm that is living near the anus. Do not scratch the area in order to prevent spreading worm larvae and eggs onto your hands or under your fingernails.
Use hand sanitizer – If you do not have access to soap and water, carry hand sanitizer with you to clean your hands after using the restroom, being outdoors, or touching animals.
You can get worms from eating?
Drink clean, bottled water when traveling – Some pathogens live in unfiltered water. Drink bottled water when traveling if you are unsure of the quality of your drinking water.
Do not consume raw foods – Uncooked meats and fish, such as sushi, can carry parasitic worms that are dangerous to humans.
Avoid eating foods that parasites feed on (processed foods/sugars) – Some parasites feed on processed foods and sugars, so start eating clean and healthy to decrease the food source for a parasite.
Sandboxes and Lakes Are a No-Go!
Avoid swallowing water/swimming in lakes, streams, and ponds. These bodies of water can oftentimes be contaminated with parasites and water-related illnesses. The most common way that a person will become infected is by swallowing the contaminated water.
Wash clothing after being outside- especially in areas like sandboxes. Sandboxes are frequently used by outdoor cats and other animals to relieve themselves. Wash your clothing directly after being in a potentially contaminated area, and keep dirty clothes away from clean clothing.
Are Protecting Yourself When Handling Pet Feces?
If you’re pregnant, stay away from cat litter and feces. Cat feces can carry Toxoplasmosis, which is a parasite that is dangerous to unborn children. During pregnancy, another household member should change the cat litter box.
Use gloves when handling feces. Cat and dog feces are the main carriers of parasitic worms and parasite eggs, so it is recommended to wear gloves when handling any animal waste. Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water as well.
We’ve all been there, high school, a membership at a gym, campgrounds – It’s important to avoid walking barefoot in locker rooms and public showers. Many pathogens and parasites live in damp, moist areas. Wear sandals to avoid stepping in contaminated areas.
Last but not least, practicing safe sex is very important as some parasites can be transferred through bodily and sexual fluids. Safe sex can prevent an unwanted parasitic worm and other dangerous pathogens.