Worm Infestation​​

Worm infestation in children is very commonly seen in Pakistan. The common worm infestations are Threadworm, Round Worm and Hookworm. As the name suggests, worm infestation means the presence of worms in your child’s body, specifically in his or her intestines. Your child can get infested by worms through drinking or eating of contaminated food or water containing worm eggs, walking barefoot in contaminated soil, licking a toy lying on the floor or crawling on the floor. These worms hatch in the body and multiply in numbers. Knowing that your child has been infested by worms can seem very disturbing, but it is a very common problem with many kids around the globe. This problem can be solved easily and in many instances also builds your child’s immune system.

Most often, the signs and symptoms of this are mild and not noticed. However children may have the following complaints which will alarm parents. 

  • loss of appetite, nausea and poor digestion

  • pain or discomfort in the tummy on and off after eating food

  • anaemia and weakness 

  • Itching around the anus or vagina or urethra (causing disturbed sleep)

  • Sometimes a larger bunch of worms may block the intestinal tract and cause total constipation, abdominal distension and vomiting.

  • Coughing up worms

  • Worms in the stool

  • Unexplained coughing, wheezing or shortness of breath in a non-asthmatic child​

If you feel your child has the symptoms above, you might want to visit your child’s paediatrician. You can also consult the child specialists at the Children’s Hospital Service Line at The Aga Khan University Hospital. 
​Your time with your doctor may be limited, so make sure to prepare for your visit beforehand. Here are some tips to help get you started.
​Worm infestation is usually diagnosed by a thorough history, physical examination and stool tests on three separate occasions to detect worm eggs in the stool. Whole worms or segments of worms passed in stool can also be identified on naked eye by the doctor or in the lab under the microscope. Additional tests may be required if spread to lungs or organs other than intestines are suspected.  
Deworming children is a common practice. Your doctor will prescribe medicine that your child will have to take to get rid of the worms. Over the counter medicines are not that beneficial and can put your child at risk, especially if he or she is younger than two years. In few types of worms, your entire family will be asked to undergo treatment as these worms are contagious and spread easily through things your child might touch.

​The Aga Khan University Hospital offers various support services to help with managing or recovering from the disease or condition. These include but are not limited to nutrition, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, specialized clinics and some patient support groups. Your doctor or nurse will advise you accordingly.

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers financial assistance to those who are in need and fulfil the eligibility criteria. For further information, you can contact the Patient Welfare Department. You can find the contact number of the Patient Welfare Department in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.

The financial counselling staff is available during office hours, at the main PBSD (Patient Business Services Department), to answer your financial queries on treatments’ costs and authorize admissions on partial deposit as per hospital policies allow. The financial counsellor in the emergency room is open 24/7. You can find the contact number of the Patient Business Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.​

​Your doctor and or nurse will give you specific instructions about the prescribed medication. Please ensure that you take or use the prescribed medicine as advised. It can be dangerous to your health if you self-prescribe. Please inform the doctor or nurse beforehand if you have experienced any adverse reactions to any medications in the past. If you experience any symptoms of drug poisoning, overdose or severe reaction please contact the Pharmacy Service at The Aga Khan University Hospital immediately. You can find the contact number of the Pharmacy Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage

​The information provided on our website is for educational purposes and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional provider.