Signs That Someone Has Worms

By molly atherton 4 months ago
Ever felt an itch that seemed to have a mind of its own? Or perhaps experienced mysterious bouts of fatigue or a peculiar rumbling in your stomach that just won't quit? Brace yourself, because there might be an unexpected guest wriggling around in your system: worms! Yes, the very creatures that star in nightmares and horror movies might just be cohabiting with you. But fear not! This isn't a sci-fi thriller; it's a sneak peek into these subtle signs...

1. What are intestinal worms?

Intestinal worms, these uninvited tenants, make themselves at home within the human intestines, earning the title of parasitic worms. While they might seem like a distant woe, especially prevalent in subtropical or tropical regions, they’re not strangers to the United States either.
Image Source: Reddit
Intestinal worms are a type of parasite that lives in human intestines. They're also referred to as parasitic worms. If you live in a subtropical or tropical region, you're more at risk, but they do exist within the United states as well. There are a lot of various symptoms and signs to tell if you have worms.Original content sourced from

2. This is a big indicator that things are not right

It's an eerie reality that these stealthy squatters can reside within you for years, operating under the radar without giving any noticeable signs of their presence. The thought alone might send shivers down your spine—an unsettling idea that these uninvited guests could have been quietly cohabiting with you all along.
Image Source: Reddit
Okay, it's totally possible for you to have worms for YEARS with no symptoms. Which is... terrifying. But if you're experiencing dysentery (diarrhea with blood and mucus), this is a sign you might have worms. We'll warn you now, none of these symptoms are particularly pleasant.

3. If you have abdominal pain, you may wanna go to the doctor

Picture your intestines as the battleground for these unwanted guests. It’s no surprise then that one of the telltale signs of their presence is abdominal pain. But this isn’t your typical "stomachache"; it’s an intense discomfort, a persistent ache that refuses to relent.
Image Source: Reddit
Considering that these gross little parasites live in your intestines, it makes perfect sense that a common symptom is abdominal pain. If you're having intense pain or if your stomach is tender to the touch, it might be time to visit a doctor and see what's up!

4. Vomiting and diarrhea are signs

So, we've covered the dramatic dysentery, but here's where things get sneakier. Prolonged diarrhea might not always come with the dramatic flair of blood and mucus, but it's no less concerning. Imagine this: your gut feels like it's staging its own marathon, a relentless cycle of frequent trips to the bathroom that just won't quit. It's exhausting, inconvenient, and frankly, suspicious.
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We already talked about dysentery. But even if you're experiencing prolonged diarrhea without any blood or mucus, this could be a sign of worms. The same goes for nausea or vomiting spells. If it's an ongoing issue, it's the sign of a bigger problem, and it could be worms!

5. Your belly is always bloated

Gas and bloating—ah, the companions of many a hearty meal or a stressful day. They're the orchestra that plays the soundtrack of our digestive system, often popping up unannounced but usually fading away without much ado.
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Most people experience gas and bloating just from normal life, so it might be more difficult to detect worms off of these symptoms alone. But if you are experiencing a lot of gas and bloating that seems to never go away, you could have some pesky friends in your intestines.

6. People with worms complain of this

Imagine waking up day after day, feeling like you've run a marathon in your sleep, an unrelenting fatigue that no amount of rest seems to cure. It's like carrying an invisible weight on your shoulders, dragging you down even in the simplest tasks.
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A lot of people have said that the first sign that they noticed that something wasn't right was feeling constantly tired or fatigued. Others mentioned they were losing unexplained weight fairly quickly. This is because the worms are literally using you as an energy source and food.

7. You can look for this sign of worms

And here comes the part that might make you squirm a bit—literally. Picture this unsettling scene: going about your day as usual and then, when nature calls, taking a peek into the porcelain throne only to find an unexpected guest—worms in your stool. Yes, it's as disturbing as it sounds.
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If you have worms, they'll eventually pass through your body and come out in your bowel movements. So even if you don't have any symptoms mentioned above, you might see worms in your stool. Depending on the type of worm, you can quite literally see them in your bowel movement. There are some worms that will even lay eggs on the skin surrounding the anal region. I'm so sorry to be the bearer of this news!

8. There are different types of worms

Consulting a doctor is your best bet in navigating this creepy crawler situation. They're like the Sherlock Holmes of your health, equipped with the tools and expertise to decipher the mystery that's been brewing within your body.
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A doctor can obviously help you analyze your symptoms and even take samples to give you a more firm diagnosis. There are different types of worms that can end up infecting you, so it's important to know what you're dealing with! Let's take a look at some of the common ones.

9. Tapeworms

Tapeworms are like the stealthy ninjas of the parasite world, sneaking into unsuspecting bodies through undercooked meat, particularly pork or beef. It’s like an unwanted surprise in your meal, turning what should be a delicious treat into a ticket to an unsettling infestation.
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Around 1,000 people are infected with tapeworms each year. They're typically acquired from eating raw or improperly cooked pork or beef. There has been records of tapeworms as long as 82 feet found in humans! Eek. Common signs are weight loss and fatigue.

10. Flukes

When it comes to unwelcome intestinal visitors, flukes are like the shape-shifters of the parasite realm. These sneaky organisms come in more than 70 different varieties, each with its own distinct characteristics and, often, equally unsettling impact on their unwitting hosts.
Image Source: Reddit
There are more than 70 different types of flukes that can end up latching onto your intestinal tract. They say these can range from a fraction of an inch in length to several inches. Humans usually get infected from eating contaminated food or water unknowingly.

11. Hookworms

Hookworms might not be as famous as pinworms, but they are no less intriguing in their parasitic endeavors. Despite not being in the limelight, these crafty creatures still manage to infiltrate a staggering 750 million people worldwide. That's a sizable number of unsuspecting hosts!
Image Source: Reddit
Hookworms aren't as common as pinworms, but they still infect around 750 million people. They used to be more common in the United States, but as living conditions have improved, they have died off. The thing to know about hookworms is that most people don't have any symptoms!

12. Pinworms

Pinworms take the crown as the reigning champs in the world of intestinal invaders, infecting a staggering population of over 1 billion people globally. They're the MVPs of parasitic infestations, especially in regions like North America.
Image Source: Reddit
Okay, pinworms are way more common. They infect more than 1 billion people in the world. This is the most common worm that will likely live in a human, especially in North America. Children are more susceptible to this particular worm, and they can easily be passed between people who live in under the same roof.

13. Ascariasis

Ascariasis might not be as widespread as some other worm infestations, but it still manages to affect a significant population of around 800,000 individuals worldwide. In the United States, this particular worm infestation is quite rare, with reported cases being sporadic, mostly confined to specific regions like the Southeast.
Image Source: wikidoc
Ascariasis affects 800,000 people around the world. It's very rare in the US, but there have been reported cases in the Southeast. As with the others, the infection comes from contaminated food or water. These worms can grow to be more than a foot long. And like others, it's possible to have this worm and show no symptoms!

14. In children, these are also symptoms

Pinworms in children can be accompanied by a few sneaky symptoms that might not immediately scream "parasite alert" but are crucial to watch out for. Apart from the more commonly known signs like itchiness around the anal area, there are a few additional red flags that might raise concerns.
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Particularly with pinworms in children, a few additional symptoms to be on the lookout for are a loss of appetite and bedwetting. It may also be more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. These symptoms can occur in adults too. But they should be taken seriously, because it's possible for the worm to move from the intestine into the urinary tract or liver, or even the uterus and vagina in women.

15. How are they spread?

The life cycle of pinworms takes a rather unsettling turn, especially during the night. These cunning creatures have a nighttime routine that's enough to make your skin crawl. Picture this: while you're fast asleep, these sneaky parasites, residing within the intestines, make their way out of the anus.
Image Source: Reddit
Warning... this is pretty gross. Worms lay eggs around an infected person's bottom at night time. The worm also secretes a mucus that will likely make the person itchy in that area. If the worm eggs get stuck on someone's fingertips when they scratch, they will be transferred to their mouth, surfaces and clothing. Then other people may touch those areas and become infected.

16. Literally not going to be able to sleep tonight with this information

The life cycle of pinworms is a persistent and unsettling tale that doesn’t just end with their nocturnal escapades. Once these microscopic eggs find their way into the environment, they can survive outside the body for up to two weeks, patiently biding their time before they hatch into a new generation of worms.
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Pinworms can survive up to two weeks before they start hatching. If the eggs stay on and hatch around the bottom, then it's possible that the new worms will re-enter the body. Any eggs that have been swallowed will then hatch inside the intestine. Worms reach adulthood in 2 weeks and then begin the reproduction cycle again.

17. Other ways you might get worms

The entry points for these unwelcome parasites into the human body are diverse, yet their impact can be equally unsettling. Eating undercooked meat, particularly from animals infected with these parasites, is a classic route of transmission. It’s like an unexpected souvenir from your meal that you certainly didn't ask for.
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Overall, the most common way of getting parasites is from eating undercooked meat where the animal is infected. But you can also get them from contaminated water or soil. If you live in an area with poor sanitation or if you have poor hygiene, you're also more at risk. If the worms go unchecked for a long time, you're more likely to show symptoms because the number and size of the worms will increase.

18. Who's most likely to get worms?

Children often find themselves at higher risk for intestinal worm infestations due to their natural curiosity and play habits. Think about it: sandboxes and playgrounds, while seemingly innocent and fun, can also harbor unseen dangers.
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Children are more susceptible to getting intestinal worms. This is because they play in environments like sandboxes and playgrounds that are often contaminated. Senior and elderly adults are also at risk, because their immune systems are not as strong.

19. A lot of people have them and don't realize it

The prevalence of intestinal worms is a startling reality that impacts a significant portion of the global population. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an astounding 24% of the world’s population grapples with these unwanted guests within their intestines.
Image Source: Reddit
The World Health Organization has said that approximately 24% of the world's population has worms. These infections are very common in tropical regions. If you are traveling to or live in a developing country, you are at a much higher risk, especially if you drink the water in these areas.

20. There are complications to watch out for

Living with intestinal worms isn't just an uncomfortable situation; it can lead to significant health complications. These parasites, siphoning off nutrients and energy from your body, can pave the way for various health issues, some of which can be quite severe.
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If you have worms, you are more at risk for anemia and even intestinal blockages. Because the worms are literally feeding off your body, you might find yourself extremely malnourished. If you are pregnant, speak to your doctor to see which medication is safest for you to take during your pregnancy.

21. Should you call your doctor?

And here’s the crucial takeaway: don’t underestimate the silent invaders. Many worm infestations might lurk within your body without any noticeable symptoms or with only mild, easily dismissed signs. However, ignoring suspicions or turning a blind eye to the possibility of these parasites isn’t a risk worth taking.
Image Source: Reddit
As mentioned, there are a lot of worms that will result in no symptoms or very mild symptoms. However, it's super important to contact your doctor if you have any suspicion you might have worms. The earlier you get treated, the less complications and side effects you'll have.

22. Definitely see your doctor for these

Certain symptoms should ring alarm bells and prompt an immediate visit to your healthcare provider. These red flags might indicate a more advanced or severe stage of worm infestation, demanding urgent attention and medical intervention.
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If you have these symptoms, you should contact your doctor immediately. Blood or pus in your stool, vomiting daily, elevated body temperature, extreme dehydration and fatigue., weight loss with no explanation, red and itching skin with a worm-shaped rash.

23. Let's talk about that for a second

We've said that these worms primarily live in your intestines and make their way through your system. This is true, but it's not unknown for a worm to find its way to the surface of your skin. If you're having extreme itching and a rash that's worm-shaped...
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... then it's possible the worm is near the surface of your skin. My classmate experienced this first hand with a cut on her arm. She picked at a white spot in the cut and pulled out a 3 foot worm! I have never recovered.

24. If your bottom is itchy, not a good sign

Pinworms are indeed unsettling, especially considering their nocturnal activities. The redness and intense itching around the anal area are telltale signs of their presence. It’s a discomfort that can be distressing and disruptive, leading to irritability, loss of sleep, and even appetite changes.
Image Source: Reddit
If you have pinworms, you'll likely notice redness and extreme itching around your bottom. As mentioned, these worms can cause loss of sleep and appetite. Another common sign is irritability. Pinworms actually come out of the anus at night to lay eggs, they look like small white threads. You can see them if you look with a flashlight. This article is causing me so much stress.

25. There's a pork tapeworm

Pork tapeworms bring a different set of challenges compared to other worm infestations due to their ability to spread beyond the intestines. The eggs of these tapeworms have the sneaky habit of entering the bloodstream, embarking on a journey to different parts of the body.
Image Source: Reddit
Pork tapeworms have their own unique set of symptoms because the eggs enter your bloodstream and hatch in your tissues. They will form fluid-filled cysts. These cysts may cause vision changes, lumps on the skin, brain function changes, and even seizures!

26. Symptoms can sometimes be severe

Certain types of worms have the unsettling ability to infiltrate the central nervous system, causing a range of severe symptoms and potentially devastating consequences for your health. These invaders are not content with just residing in the intestines...
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Some types of worms can affect the central nervous system causing harsher symptoms and consequences to your health. As mentioned, there can be sensory issues, vision and cognitive issues, and even mobility issues. This is why it's so important to keep an eye on anything that seems abnormal and see a doctor sooner than later!

27. Just a few more symptoms that might pop up

The presence of worms within the body can trigger a myriad of symptoms that might not immediately point to a parasitic infestation. Insatiable muscle aches or joint pain could be unexpected indicators of such an invasion.
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Another sign you might have worms is if you're experiencing insatiable muscle aches or joint pain. If you have swelling of your face or eyes, or if you're having difficulty breathing, these could all be signs. We discussed diarrhea, but constipation can also be a sign, depending on where and how the worms are moving through your body!

28. You can do the Scotch-tape test

Yes, the Scotch tape test, also known as the pinworm paddle test, is a method used to collect samples for the diagnosis of pinworm infestations. It involves using a transparent piece of tape, often Scotch tape, to collect potential pinworm eggs around the anal area.
Image Source: Reddit
There's a test known as the Scotch tape test. As we've said, these worms lay eggs around your bottom. You can apply a piece of tape to the anus multiple times and see if there are pinworms on the tape. These will need to be identified with a microscope.

29. The doctor can test for these

Consulting a healthcare professional is crucial if you suspect a parasitic infestation, especially if you're experiencing symptoms or have a history of travel outside the US to regions where parasitic infections are more prevalent.
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Your doctor can also do a blood test to determine if you have a parasite. X-rays are also an option if needed. So if you have any of these symptoms, especially if you've traveled outside the US, then make a doctor's appointment for a stool evaluation.

30. How to prevent getting worms

Taking preventive measures goes a long way in reducing the risk of encountering these pesky parasites. Good hygiene practices serve as a formidable defense against worm infestations and other gastrointestinal infections.
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Okay, all of this sounded truly terrible. So if you want to avoid worms, then wash your hands regularly with soap and hot water, and practice good hygiene. Avoid eating raw fish (yes, even sushi) and other meats. Make sure you wash all of your fruits and vegetables, and if you drop something on the floor, wash, reheat or toss it.

31. Wash your hands before preparing food

The importance of hand hygiene cannot be overstated, especially in the context of preventing parasitic infestations. While washing hands after using the restroom is a fundamental practice, it's equally crucial to pay extra attention to handwashing before handling or preparing food.
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We know washing your hands more in general is a must to prevent worms, but definitely take more care to wash them for longer and more thoroughly before you prepare food! You might think because you went to the bathroom 5 minutes ago and washed your hands it's all good, but you could've touched more than you think since then!

32. Wash your hands after touching soil

Soil can indeed be a potential hotspot for various parasites, including certain types of worms. For individuals who spend a significant amount of time gardening or working with soil, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks associated with soil contact.
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Of course, the most obvious place for worms to be prevalent is the soil, and things are easily spread if you're not washing your hands properly. So if you're very green-fingered and you spend a lot of time tending to your garden, make sure you're washing your hands every time they come into contact with soil.

33. Only drink bottled water in certain places

In some regions, particularly in certain areas of Europe and other parts of the world, modern sewage systems or water treatment might not be as prevalent or advanced as in more developed countries. As a result, the quality of tap water in these areas can be a potential concern.
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There are certain places in the world that don't have modern sewage systems or toilets, like certain countries in Europe, and these can be high-risk areas for drinking water from a tap like you would at home. So make sure to drink bottled water only from these places.

34. Or boil your water first

When bottled water isn’t readily available, and you're left with tap water or water from natural sources, such as streams or rivers, boiling the water before consumption becomes a crucial step in ensuring its safety. Boiling water is an effective method to kill most types of parasites, bacteria, and viruses that might be present in untreated water sources.
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If it's not possible to drink water directly from a bottle and your only choice is water from a tap - or maybe a natural source of water if you're out camping or in an emergency situation - you should boil any water before consuming it to help prevent worm infections.

35. Make sure to keep on top of your pet worming

Pet worms can indeed pose a potential risk to humans, albeit it's relatively rare. Certain types of worms that affect animals, such as dogs or cats, can, in specific circumstances, potentially transfer to humans, causing what is known as zoonotic infections.
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Even though you might not think it's a risk for humans, pet worms can also be a problem for humans. It's very rare for it to happen, and it only applies to getting a certain type of worm, but it's still a risk, however low. So stay on top of your regular worming treatments for pets where applicable!

36. Get rid of pet poop as quickly as possible

Absolutely, maintaining a clean environment, especially in areas where pets relieve themselves, is crucial in reducing the risk of worm problems and potential transmission to humans. In outdoor spaces like gardens where pets might eliminate, regularly removing and properly disposing of pet waste helps prevent the accumulation of potentially infectious material.
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If you have a garden where you let your dog or cat poop, a litter box in the house for your cat or even puppy training mats where your dog is still doing their business in the house, make sure to be keeping on top of the cleaning routine to help prevent the risk of worm problems spreading!

37. If your grow your own veggies, take extra care washing them

Practicing proper hygiene both in handling soil and harvesting home-grown produce is essential in minimizing the risk of potential worm infestations. After handling soil in the garden or working with plants, washing hands thoroughly with soap and hot water becomes crucial.
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This applies to both washing your hands after you've been touching the soil and harvesting your veg, and washing the vegetables and fruit themselves after they've been in the ground. A thorough washing will make sure you can reduce the risk of worms as much as possible.

38. Be careful where your kids play

Public places like parks and playgrounds can be areas where pet waste, particularly from dogs and sometimes stray cats, can accumulate. Pet waste, if not properly cleaned up, can pose health risks due to potential parasite contamination.
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If you're in a public place where there is a high percentage of dog or cat poop - which can easily happen in public parks and playgrounds, either from people not picking up after their pets, or stray dogs and cats doing their business wherever they want - them make sure your kids don't play near those areas to avoid the risk.

39. Don't walk barefoot in certain risky areas

Being cautious about where you walk barefoot or remove your shoes is essential, especially in public areas where pet waste might be present. Even on a lovely day at the park or the beach, it’s crucial to be mindful of potential contamination from animal feces.
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The same applies to the areas that you might be walking bare foot, as you also don't want to be kicking your shoes off in a place that could be wrought with dog or cat poop either, even if you think it's a nice day to take your socks off in the park or at the local beach!

40. Be careful with undercooked beef or pork

Consuming undercooked or raw beef or pork can indeed pose a risk of contracting certain types of tapeworms, leading to a condition called Taeniasis in humans. Taeniasis occurs when individuals ingest tapeworm larvae present in undercooked or raw meat, particularly beef (Taenia saginata) or pork (Taenia solium).
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There is a certain tapeworm that can be a risk to humans if they consume it, which comes from undercooked beef or pork. It's a condition called Taeniasis that can come from a tapeworm. So make sure to always double check how you've cooked your meat, and you may want to switch it up a few levels if you like your meat on the rare side!

41. How can you catch worms? Certain surfaces

Understanding the potential routes of contracting worms is crucial because it might not be a concern that crosses everyone's mind in their daily routines. Worm eggs, especially from certain types of parasites, can indeed linger on surfaces, creating a potential risk of transmission.
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It's important to understand fully how you can actually catch worms, because it's not something many people think about being a risk during their everyday lives! If certain surfaces have worm eggs on them - such as unsanitary surfaces you've touched - this is a way you could get them.

42. Someone else who doesn't wash their hands

Despite our best efforts to maintain proper hygiene and cleanliness, the potential risk of contracting worms or other infections from individuals who haven't practiced good hygiene remains a concern. In social settings or daily interactions, such as shaking hands or coming into contact with surfaces that others have touched, there’s a chance of exposure to potential contaminants.
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The sad reality is no matter how much you're washing and scrubbing your hands until their shining clean, it only takes someone else with worms who hasn't washed their hands properly to still infect you! So you might want to be careful of whose hand you're shaking!

43. Touching soil with worm eggs

The risk associated with soil in terms of potential worm infections can vary based on various factors, including the origin and sanitation standards of the soil. In home gardens or reputable garden centers in well-developed regions where sanitation practices are adhered to, the risk of soil harboring harmful worm eggs or parasites is generally low.
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As we said, soil is also a big risk if the soil is infected with worm eggs, but it's important to think about any soil being a risk. It's a very low risk if it's your home garden or garden center soil, for example, and bigger risks come from soil in countries without modern sewage systems.

44. Swallowing water with worm eggs

Being cautious about the water supply, especially when visiting new places or countries, is crucial to safeguard against potential waterborne infections, including those caused by parasites or harmful microbes. In regions where modern sanitation practices might be lacking or where the water supply might not meet safety standards, it's important to exercise caution with drinking water.
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Be sure to think about how you're drinking water when you're in other countries, too, as it also applies to restaurants and cafes if you're not ordering bottled water and these places don't have modern toilets or sewage systems. Do your research about the water supply before you visit a new place.

45. Baby worms from undercooked food

In regions or restaurants with poor hygiene standards, there is an increased risk of food becoming contaminated with worm eggs or larvae, even if the food is cooked correctly. While undercooked food poses a higher risk for the presence of parasites, such as baby worms, poor hygiene standards can exacerbate this risk.
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Baby worms can also get into food even if it's been cooked correctly if it's a part of the world - or restaurant - that has very poor hygiene standards. Though undercooked food will be the biggest risk for baby worms being present, it's all the more risky if you're ordering meat out at a random restaurant in a different country that doesn't look very clean...

46. From pets

Being mindful of the potential risk of parasites from pets, not just your own but also those of friends, family, or even pets encountered in public spaces like parks, is crucial in minimizing the risk of exposure to potential parasites.
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As mentioned, pets are also a risk, even though it's a very low one - but it's not just your own. Make sure to be aware of all the pets you're spending time with, such as pets of friends and family who might not be up to date with the worming schedule, or even strangers' dogs at the park.

47. Keep your feet clean as much as you can

Incorporating foot hygiene into your routine not only helps keep your feet clean but also offers an opportunity to conduct visual checks for any unusual signs or symptoms, including those that might indicate potential worm infections.
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Not only is keeping your feet clean a good practice for washing away any dirt or risk of infection, but it's also a good opportunity to check that everything looks okay down there! How often do you actually look at the bottom of your feet if you're not giving them a good wash? This will let you know whether there are any signs of worms.

48. Wear shoes as much as possible

Certain recreational activities or public spaces where shoes might be less commonly worn, such as swimming pools, lakes, parks, or outdoor events like runs or marathons, pose a potential risk of exposure to various contaminants, including parasites that could lead to worm infections.
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This might sound like a no-brainer but there are certain areas you might be a bit more 'free' with not wearing shoes - think public swimming pools, public lakes or ponds, walking through parks, or even if you're getting involved in runs or marathons that go through mud and dirt and gets in your shoes!

49. Treatment from a doctor is possible

Many common worm infections can be effectively treated with prescription medications once diagnosed by a healthcare professional. These medications are specifically designed to target and eliminate the worms from the body.
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It's actually relatively easy to treat the worm problem once it's been diagnosed by a health professional. Usually, this will just be some medicine to take which can then take a few days to kick in before you'll naturally pass out the worms when you go the toilet - and you might not even see them!

50. Get other people in your household tested too

When someone in a household is diagnosed with a worm infection, it's crucial to consider the potential for transmission to other household members. Parasitic infections, including worms, can easily spread within close living quarters, especially among family members who share living spaces, sleep in the same beds, or have close contact.
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It's important to remember that if you live closely with others - like sharing a bed with a partner or you're around children in the house - it's always worth them getting checked out too if you've been diagnosed with worms, because it's very easy to pass the infection on within a household.