Hookworms are parasites. This means they live off other living things. Hookworms affect your lungs and small intestine. Humans contract hookworms through roundworm eggs and larvae found in dirt contaminated by feces.
Symptoms include abdominal pain, colic (cramping and excessive crying in infants), intestinal cramps, nausea, fever, blood in your stool, appetite loss, itchy rash.
Most cases of classic hookworm disease can be managed on an outpatient basis with anthelmintic and iron therapy, complemented by appropriate diet. Patients with anemia and malnutrition may require both iron supplements and nutritional support (including folate supplementation). Some patients with severe anemia and congestive heart failure may require hospitalization.
Hookworm infection affects over half a billion people globally. It is a leading cause of maternal and child morbidity in the developing countries of the tropics and subtropics. In developed countries, hookworm infection is rarely fatal, but anemia can be significant in a heavily infected individual. Hookworm infection is a soil-transmitted helminthiasis and therefore classified as a neglected tropical disease. Ancylostomiasis is the disease caused when Ancylostoma duodenale hookworms, present in large numbers, produce an iron deficiency anemia by sucking blood from the host's intestinal walls.