Trichuris trichiura, or “whipworm”
Whipworms are most prevalent in regions with hot, humid climates and inadequate sanitation. The parasite primarily affects children ages 1-14. The worms live in the intestines, and the eggs are passed through the feces of an infected person and contaminate the soil. They are transmitted by ingestion of the eggs on unwashed fruits and vegetables, utensils, or dirty hands that have been exposed to feces-contaminated soil. People with mild infections usually have no symptoms. Heavier infections can produce frequent, painful passage of stool that contains mucus, water, and blood; rectal prolapse can occur. Severe infections can lead to bowel obstruction, rupture, or even death. Malnutrition can develop among those infected with intestinal worms. Children with these infections may also have mental and physical growth impairments. Whipworm infections are preventable and treatable with prescribed medication.
CDC – Trichuriasis. US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. 2020.