How do hookworms enter the human body?

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Jun 1, 2017


Through contact with soil that contains eggs or larvae. They enter the skin and travel to the lungs or small intestine.


Hookworm infestation takes place most commonly when your bare skin comes into contact with infested soil: soil or dirt that contains the eggs or larvae of the hookworm.

The two hookworms that cause infestation are Necator americanus and Ancylostoma duodenale and their eggs are passed in human faeces through which they end up in soil. They hatch into larvae and stay in the soil till they come in contact with human skin.

When they enter the skin, they travel through the bloodstream till they reach the lungs where they settle. They can also travel to the windpipe where, when swallowed, they settle in the small intestine.

Infestation is more common in places with warm climate and where sanitation is poor.

Infestation can also take place indirectly from house pets (dogs and cats) that are infested and pass the eggs in their faeces which then hatch in soil that a human can come in contact with.

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