Whipworm is found throughout the world, especially in countries with a warm moist climate
. It can become a parasite in humans following ingestion
that contains whipworm egg
s. These eggs get ino the soil from the feces
of previously infected organisms.
Following egg ingestion the eggs hatch, and the whipworm embeds itself in the wall of the large intestine. In the case of a light infestation, few if any symptoms are seen. A heavier infestation leads to bloody diarrhea, and in severe cases, rectal prolapse. Excessive loss of blood may lead to anaemic symptoms.
An infestation, once identified by an examination of a stool sample can be easily treated with orally administred anti-parasitic medicine. As the main sufferers are young children there may be some distress, but recovery should be rapid.