Science Questions

Sun, 13th Nov 2005

Part of the show Parasites, Hookworms and Allergies

Question

John in West Mersey asked:

Has anyone been seriously ill from taking these worms?

Answer

The trial we have conducted to date was a safety trial where people were infected with graded numbers of worms. They went from 10 to 25, 50 up to 100. If you give somebody 100 worms, they do not feel well. In that case we had to take the worms out of the system as quickly as possible. You're right to ask this question because we need to be careful not to give too many worms at one time. They itch when they go through your skin, but you don't notice anything again until they reach your gut. I had 50 and it gave me a dull ache under my ribcage.

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