A parasite walked into a bar…

The bartender said, “We don’t serve your kind here”.  The parasite replied, “Well then you’re not a very good host”.

A parasite is an organism that lives in another organism, the host, taking its nutrients. What are some examples of parasites that live in humans?

Pinworms (enterobiasis) are tiny worms that are common in children. They live in the colon and rectum. The female pinworms lay eggs around the human anus, which can cause severe, intense itching.  To test for pinworms, a piece of scotch tape is applied briefly to the anus, and the worms can then be seen on the tape.



Flukes (trematoda) are a type of flatworm, more common in South America and the Middle East. Flukes are spread by eating some types of raw plants such as watercress or by contaminated water.   Flukes can live in human intestines, blood stream, and other tissues.


Hookworms are small worms that are transmitted through feces and contaminated soil. Humans can catch hookworms when they walk barefoot, and the larvae pierce the skin. Hookworms live in the intestine, where they attach themselves with their hook.


Trichinosis roundworm infection occurs when humans eat undercooked meat that contains larvae. The larvae reproduce and travel to the muscles or other tissues.


Tapeworms are spread by contaminated water, raw or undercooked meat, and seafood. Tapeworms attach to the intestinal walls. They can grow up to 50 feet long and live for 30 years.









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