Ascariasis in Preventive Medicine

Eloise B. Cram United States Bureau of Animal Industry, Washington, D. C.

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Ascariasis is a subject of great interest in preventive medicine; its wide-spread distribution and its high incidence in many places, its striking pathological picture and the fact that prevention under certain conditions appears definitely feasible, make it an important and interesting problem in this field of medicine. Whereas infestation with some parasites is the result of eating the flesh of animals infested with larval stages of those parasites and infestation with others results from the transmission of the parasite by an attack from a biting arthropod, ascariasis is essentially a filth disease; it is contracted only by the ingestion of fecal material. Prevention, therefore, may be accomplished by well-recognized methods of general sanitation, and whereas in the other parasitic diseases referred to, special sanitary measures are commonly necessary, in ascariasis it is largely a matter of cleanliness of the community and of the individual.

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