What percentage of US residents have parasitic worms?

I have a credulous friend who has been convinced by a peddler of alternative medicine that a very high percentage of people have parasitic worms.

So what’s the straight dope? Educated guesses and wisecracks are of course welcome, but I’d like some cold hard numbers if any are available.

So how many Americans are wormy?

Depends on your definitions. Do external, microscopic worms on your skin count?

I really need new glasses. At first glance, the title read “What percentage of US presidents have…”

Which might still have been a reasonable question with a verb indicating a state of being rather than mere possession.



Those links can help you sort it out.

Bottom line: In the US, it’s not that many, tho a lot of folks have roundworms at some point in their lives and never notice it. Or just scratch their butts a bit more often. Since roundworms don’t do much to most folks other than make one’s butt itch, they’re not being pursued real aggressively by the medical community.

I treated patients in Wisconsin during the great Crypto outbreak of dickety-six, and that wasn’t fun. But there’s no cure for that one anyway. Healthy folks eventually rid themselves of the infestation, immunosuppressed folks don’t.

I can’t answer your question. However, with the exception of pinworms, which affect many, many young kids at some point, “worms” are quite rare. I say that becasuse, even among the sick and debilitated (i.e. the people I see on a daily basis), I’m not sure I can recall a single case of “worms” in the last 20 years (*see below for notable exception).

On the other hand, there are going to be populations where the prevalence of worms is high (at least relatively speaking). For example, I would speculate that “worms” are more common among people who hunt, trap, and/or catch their own meat, as well as in groups of people where sanitary conditions are suboptimal (e.g. perhaps some Native people’s reserves).

*There is one group of people where “worms”, while not common, are not super rare either. Specifically, people taking drugs to suppress their immune system (or even people with horribly weakend immune systems, e.g. AIDS, leukemia) may develop infection with “worms”. Still, even in such a high risk group, “worms” are pretty darn uncommon.

Hey, a simulpost with QtheM! Neat!

Yeah, and we both mentioned buttworms (pinworms are a subset of roundworms) and the immunosuppressed. We are truly either brilliant physicians marching in lockstep, or fools from the same school of foolery!


and certainly not the latter!

Thanks for the answers, y’all.

Interestingly enough, some researchers in the causes and treatment of inflammatory bowel disease believe that we don’t have ENOUGH parasitic worms. They’re experimenting with using pig whipworms to treat IBD! See http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=44092

Is this peddler of parasitic paranoia a deluded local practitioner or one of the top-selling alt med fearmongers?

The belief that our physical and/or mental troubles are due to “a sinister world of monstrous creatures that feed on living flesh” (see link below), i.e. worms or other parasites, is common among alties (one naturopath with a devoted following insists that the liver fluke is responsible for all cancers).

Here’s one typical site (warning - really grotty photo on homepage before you get to the parasite section).

As noted previously by other Doper docs, problems due to worms among adults in this country are very uncommon, if one has a normal immune system.

Aren’t you glad I encouraged you to roll in the dirt with the dog and rabbits and cat and pony and goat and fish and lemurs and orangutans when you were little? And play in the ponds with the tadpoles? :wink:

Yeah, that sounds like the sales pitch my friend was buying into.

Actually, your friend is quite correct.

Most people catch worms without even realizing it.
The symptoms are often misdiagnosed as either a “stress cough”, cold or flu.
The only way to be 100% sure that you have worms is by a blood or faeces check.

If you have a lingering dry cough, it’s most likely from worms or parasites attacking the mucous membrane lining of your throat.

Your anus does not have to itch for you to have worms.
If your sleep is interrupted it could be because your worms and parasites are most active during the night.
If you are irritable it could be because your worms have affected your immune system and sleep patterns.

Your parent’s generation commonly wormed their children at least once a year.
Faeces in dating back to the middle-ages show that worms were prevalent in every society tested.

You catch worms the same way you catch the flu.
They travel through the air when you cough.
They reside on toilet seats and door handles.
Raw fish, public transport and restaurants are great breeding grounds.

If your immune system is strong you can ward off most attacks - but for most of our immune systems are not always as strong as we would like to believe (else why would we catch “cold” or “flus”?).

Autopsies on most people in Aged Care facilities show intestines filled with worms.
There are some great documentaries on this.

Research in America, Cuba and Australia is showing that virus growing inside parasites living within your bones escape when the parasite gets too big, and have been connected to cancer. This may align with your friend’s naturopath.

If you suspect you have a cold, flu or have a dry cough, do yourself and everyone around you a favour by de-worming yourself.

They come in chocolate squares, with little to no side effects.
Take the full dose, change your bed sheets and wear clean clothes, 7 days later repeat the dose.
You have to repeat the does to kill the newly hatched eggs (treatments don’t kill their eggs).

What’s there to loose?
Jump on youtube and search for videos on worms and parasites.

IMHO we should have a national worming day.
Certainly a lot more effective and safer than enforced vaccination, fluoride in the water and antibiotics.

> FYI I do not derive any income from the sale of worming treatments.
Most misinformation comes from misinformed practitioners who have not bothered to investigate further. I suggest that you try it yourself, instead of relying on evidence from those that have not.

Zombie worms are the worst. Eating your brains out.

Flying worms???:dubious:

Do you get them from undercooked Christmas turkey?

Zombie ass worms are nasty too*.

*[sub]Whether they are ass worms that are zombified, or worms in a zombie ass, or even zombified worms in a zombified ass makes insignificant difference in the nastiness.[/sub]

Yep - dry cough, insomnia, irritability, itching, headaches, blocked sinuses, achy joints, weight gain, weight loss…all due to worms. Worms, I tell you!

Better be on the safe side during this epidemic and worm them at least once a month. They’ll perk up and get better grades.

Best to stay indoors, keep away from other people and eat those anti-worm chocolates. You can’t be too careful.

This applies to everyone, including John Wayne and Elvis Presley.

How about late August? It’d be cool if Mrs. J. and I could celebrate National Worming Day* at the same time as our birthdays and anniversary.

So true! (though you left out GMOs and soy).

*Hey, how about de-worming the entire population at the same time via chemtrails? I’ve written Donald Trump about this.

Odd. Usually posts crammed full of that much misinformation and outright bullshit have more caps, more misspelling, and more dire threats. Putting the ‘Dr’ in his name was an interesting touch though, an obvious attempt to claim some kind of authority, but kinda defeated by the very non-authoritative garbage in the post itself. Most of this is just obviously wrong and easily debunked crap someone made up about worms being everywhere. I mean, you’ve got a little bit of the usual horsecrap about vaccinations & fluoridation, and even something about antibiotics, but it’s like an afterthought, as if it was thrown in just to make absolutely certain everyone knows the poster doesn’t have any clue what he’s talking about whatsoever. I can’t really give this a very high score, it’s just not a good effort.