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Ascariasis (Roundworm)

Please click the frequently asked questions below for further information and IPC precautions required:

  • What is Ascariasis (Roundworm)?

    The most common types of these parasitic worms are roundworms. They live and grow inside the intestine of your pet. Roundworms develop from eggs into larvae (immature worms). The larvae later grow into adult worms.

    Most pets show no signs of infection with these worms, but some may vomit, stop eating their food, or lose weight. Heavy infections in young puppies and kittens may lead to death.

    Humans can be affected.

  • How does it spread?

    Roundworm infections usually happen when soil, sand, or plants that have been contaminated with infected animal feaces are accidentally put in the mouth and ingested.

  • What are the symptoms?

    Roundworms enter the body when ingested as worm eggs that soon hatch into larvae. These larvae travel through the liver, lungs, and other organs. In most cases, these “wandering worms” cause no symptoms or obvious damage. However, in some cases they can cause damage to tissue. Sometimes they affect the nerves or even make their way to the eyes. In some cases, they may cause permanent nerve or eye damage, even blindness.

  • Why is this important?

    If NIAS staff are aware that the patient has a suspected or confirmed case this should be communicated to the Control Room (Emergency or Non-emergency as appropriate) and the staff in the receiving unit when transferring the patient to ensure effective patient care and management.

  • IPC Precautions
    • Standard Precautions should be used.
    • Hand Hygiene should be completed as per the 5 moments in line with usual practice. Soap and Water should be used.
    • Eye protection should always be risk assessed and used with any patient where there is a risk of splashes including spitting and productive coughing.
    • Gloves and Aprons should be risk assessed.
    • Laundry should be treated as per usual policy.
  • What cleaning is required?

    All equipment and the ambulance should have an in-between patient clean paying particular attention to touch points.

  • Do staff need prophylaxis or follow up?

    No staff follow up required.