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 eggs are deposited on the ground in faeces, and will hatch into non-infective larvae if the right soil type, water quantity, and temperature are present. The larvae take 7-10 days to become infective, and can then penetrate human skin (usually the foot). Itchy skin or ground itch occurs where the larvae penetrate the skin. On entry, the larvae make their way to the lungs by the blood and immune systems. Then they are coughed up and swallowed into the digestive system. The larvae attach to the small intestine wall by hooks, and develop into adults (6-7 weeks). Adults produce 15 000 to 20 000 eggs a day which exit in the faeces."