Some infections, such as hookworm, are directly caused by a lack of cleanliness. They can be contracted by coming into touch with contaminated soil that has been contaminated by human excrement in areas where effective waste management is lacking.
Hookworm parasites infect humans by direct touch, such as walking barefoot on dirt contaminated with human excrement.
Hookworm larvae can be found in soil and can pierce human skin to enter the small intestine. The worms develop to adult size in the gut and create hundreds of eggs, which are passed in the feces to restart their life cycle.
A slight hookworm infection may go unnoticed, while others cause itching and a rash. Children, pregnant women, and people who are unwell or malnourished are most vulnerable to the disease, which produces diarrhea and cramps. Anemia, protein shortage, and development retardation may occur in these patients.
About one billion individuals—one in every six persons on the planet—are affected by this primarily tropical illness.
Visit our treatment section to learn more about water contamination and treatment.