Prevalence of Worm Infection
It seems that here in the Philippines, the usual reactions to worm infections are “eww”, “yuck"”, and “I don't wanna even think about that!” These reactions are understandable, but there's one thing we all need to remember: worm eggs are everywhere and coming into contact with them is just a part of life in a tropical country.
In a local survey done in schools across major cities, the prevalence of worm infections in children 5 to 14 years old ranges from 51.7% to 77.7%1. Besides young children being vulnerable, female adolescents and pregnant women are also at risk of worm infections, but with prevalence at less than 50%2. Adults can also be carriers of worm eggs. They can pass these on to their children without even realizing it. These facts call for one thing to be said straight – there’s a huge chance that your child might get, or already have, a worm infection. And because worms are so contagious, a big pool of people who could be infected also means a big pool of people who could infect others.
We know that sharing is fun, but what happens when worms are also easily shared? An itchy bottom, restlessness during bedtime, or a sudden lack of appetite are signs that your child may have gotten a worm infection. You may refer to this article for a more detailed list of symptoms.
Thoroughly cleaning everything is usually the first thing parents do when a child gets a worm infection. While this is helpful, it is not a good enough guard and cannot help when your child is infected already. Some parents also stop their kids from playing with others for fear of them getting worms. But stopping them from sharing the fun with others won’t really help because worm eggs can be found even in clean environments. The best way to combat worm infections is still through regular deworming treatment – and we can help you with that!
Pyrantel embonate (Combantrin™) is the Philippines’ leading worm treatment*.The active ingredient works as a 'neuro-muscular blocking agent', which essentially paralyzes the worms inside the body. This allows them to be passed out of the body with a bowel movement. Learn more about how to use Pyrantel embonate (Combantrin™) here!
It is best to deworm twice a year. Deworming every 6 months protects your child from the negative effects of having worms, such as difficulty focusing in school and decreased nutrition3. It’s safe to say that the best measure against the prevalence of worm infections is to go against the stigma – make regular deworming a normal habit so that nothing is stopping the kids from sharing the fun!
1Belizario, Jr., V. Y., de Leon, W. U., Wambangco, M. L., & Esparar, D. G. (2005). Baseline Assessment of Intestinal Parasitism in Selected Public Elementary Schools in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Acta Medica Philippina , 39 (2), 11-21.
2Belizario, Jr., V. Y., Totañes, F. G., Lumampao, Y. C., & Naig, J. A. (2015). Improving Current Helminth Control Strategies: Lessons from a Baseline Prevalence Survey of Soil-Transmitted Helminth Infections in Adolescent Females and Pregnant Women in Selected Local Government Units in the Philippines. Acta Medica Philippina , 49 (3), 1-7.
3Belizario, Jr., V. Y., de Leon, W. U., Lumampao, Y. F., Anastacio, M. M., & Tai, C. C. (2009). Sentinel Surveillance of Soil Transmitted Helminthiasis in Selected Local Government Units in the Philippines. Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Health , 21 (1), 26-42.
* IMS MAT 1S 2016