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 Post subject: Parasites!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:03 pm 
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Alright, ZS medical geeks and gurus, here's a chance to shine...

Let's talk parasites. Worms. Lice. Ameobas. Creepy crawlies, slitheries, food borne, water borne, and those you can get from touching strangers on their naughty bits. The ones in your guts, the ones in your muscles, the ones in your hair and the ones in your crotch.

What do you know about them? How can you catch them? How can you KEEP from catching them? What are the dangers and life cycles? How do you treat them with modern medicine? How did primitive folks deal with them? What can I do to keep clean and healthy and critter free in the PAW and now!

This is a big topic, folks, but don't be scared! Somebody pick their favorite parasite and get to learnin' us! If a person comes up with a good template, post it so we can get this crap organized. You know it's not just gonna be zombies trying to eat us when the lights switch off for the last time. Get to posting!! Post links to ZS threads, links to wikipedia articles, links to WebMD, your own experience, details from your own schoolin', or even your own humble opinions on the topic.

I anxiously await...

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 Post subject: Re: Parasites!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 2:19 pm 
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I'll get this party started with...PINWORMS!!

PINWORMS

Scientific Name: Enterobius vermicularis

What is it?: A small (approx. 1/2" long or smaller) nematode (roundworm) that lives in the human GI tract. This organism lives it's entire lifecycle in one host, entering the host when food/water/detritus contaminated with microscopic eggs are swallowed and exiting the host when the adult worm (which has matured in the intestines) lays additional eggs in the external perianal area for transfer to other hosts. The wiggling of the adult worms on the external anal surface causes itching and discomfort, which causes scratching, transfer of the eggs to a host's hands, and subsequent transfer to other surfaces.

Incubation of the eggs takes from 1-2 months. There is no way to tell a pinworm infection until symptoms appear. Children ages 5-10 are the most frequently infected.

What does it look like?: So glad you asked...

Mature Pinworms

Image

Pinworm Closeup - External and Interior GI Tract

Image

What does it do?: Makes your butt (specifically your anus and perianal region) itch - - seriously. Complications are very rare - - this is a fairly benign (albeit icky) parasite. However, it is possible to get infections in the perianal area due to excessive scratching from irritation caused by these critters.

YUK!! Is it Contagious?!: Extremely. If one member of your family has it, chances are other members do or will, also. Pinworms are the single most common worm parasite in the U.S., with over 40 million cases estimated annually.

How do I know if I have them?: Your butt itches. A lot. Adult worms will be visible on the external anal area mostly nocturnally. Pressing scotch tape (sticky side down) onto the anus will collect pinworm eggs, and microscopic identification of these eggs is the definitive diagnosis. If one family member has them, it is assumed that all family member have them.

How do I keep from Getting Them?: To limit the chances of getting pinworms or of spreading them to others:

* Wash your hands carefully and often.
* Avoid scratching around your anus.
* Keep your fingernails short.
* Wash clothes and bedding regularly.
* Bathe and change your underwear every day.
* If family members get pinworms again, all family members will need to take medicine to kill pinworms. Close, crowded living conditions are a major source of spread of this infection.

How are they treated pre-PAW: Prescription albendazole (Albenza) is the most common treatment for pinworms. Treatment is a single tablet, which kills the worms. There are different strengths for adults and children younger than two years of age. Because eggs can survive for a few weeks, the patient will have to take a second dose two weeks later to lessen the chance of reinfection. Prescription mebendazole (Vermox) also works. It is also taken in a single dose and repeated two weeks later.

Can I treat them in the PAW?: Garlic – Eat a couple of small garlic cloves daily or add enough garlic to your meals. Grind garlic to make a paste and mix less than ½ pinch of it with Vaseline. Apply this on the anal region to deal with the itchiness and kill the eggs. This is one of the best pinworm home remedies for killing the eggs and reducing anal itch.

Cut your nails short, adhere to a strict perianal hygiene regimen, wash bedding and undergarments frequently.

ZS Thread with Additional Information: None found as of the date of this post.

Other sites with information?:

http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/pinw ... c-overview
http://www.emedicinehealth.com/pinworms/article_em.htm
http://www.home-remedies-for-you.com/ar ... worms.html

Edited to remove picture that photobucket didn't like... :roll:

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Holmes: "Most certainly! Keep your revolver near you night and day, and never relax your precautions..."

- The Hound of the Baskervilles


Last edited by DannusMaximus on Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Parasites!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 2:26 pm 
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Nasty pic.

Anyway, here's a remedy I heard from my wife's grandmother, who was a country farmer's daughter and farmer's wife, for getting rid of intestinal worms: Get a can of turpentine and start massaging it into the skin around the throat, then work your way down the chest along the esophagus to the stomach, then down the abdomen to the groin. She claimed this would absorb through the skin into the digestive organs and drive the worms screaming from the anus. The reason to start at the throat is to keep them from coming up through the stomach and out yer mouth! Whee!

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 Post subject: Re: Parasites!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 5:26 pm 
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dogbane wrote:
Nasty pic.

Anyway, here's a remedy I heard from my wife's grandmother, who was a country farmer's daughter and farmer's wife, for getting rid of intestinal worms: Get a can of turpentine and start massaging it into the skin around the throat, then work your way down the chest along the esophagus to the stomach, then down the abdomen to the groin. She claimed this would absorb through the skin into the digestive organs and drive the worms screaming from the anus. The reason to start at the throat is to keep them from coming up through the stomach and out yer mouth! Whee!

That won't work. I promise

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 Post subject: Re: Parasites!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 1:06 am 
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Just another reason to love garlic!!!
Thanks Dannus

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 Post subject: Re: Parasites!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:00 am 
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Apache wrote:
dogbane wrote:
Nasty pic.

Anyway, here's a remedy I heard from my wife's grandmother, who was a country farmer's daughter and farmer's wife, for getting rid of intestinal worms: Get a can of turpentine and start massaging it into the skin around the throat, then work your way down the chest along the esophagus to the stomach, then down the abdomen to the groin. She claimed this would absorb through the skin into the digestive organs and drive the worms screaming from the anus. The reason to start at the throat is to keep them from coming up through the stomach and out yer mouth! Whee!

That won't work. I promise

I wouldn't know, never having tried it. I'm just reporting the way they dealt with tapeworms on the farm in the early 20th Century.

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 Post subject: Re: Parasites!
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:27 am 
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IIRC, nicotine acts as a vermifuge when ingested. I think I picked this up out of an old US Army FM on survival way back when I was a young private. I think it recommended eating 4-6 cigarettes (sans filters :wink: ), or just until you felt woozy.

Can any one verify if that is effective?
Will it work on all intestinal parasites, or only on worms? (are their any non-worm intestinal parasites?? :shock: )

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 Post subject: Re: Parasites!
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:23 pm 
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Aren't those the same worms that you might have to treat your pets or livestock for? Very very common. I imagine they are really prevalent in 3rd world countries.

About tapeworms, back in the 1800s they were advertised as the magical weight loss solution :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Parasites!
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 4:13 pm 
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dukman wrote:
Aren't those the same worms that you might have to treat your pets or livestock for?

According to my sources, this particular genus/species of worm is found only in humans. Critters no doubt have their own 'pinworms' that like they, but this one is for big brained bipeds only.

dukman wrote:
About tapeworms, back in the 1800s they were advertised as the magical weight loss solution :lol:


Indeed they were, dukman. And what a great segue...

TAPEWORMS

Scientific Name: Taenia __________ (various species within the genus Taenia)

What is it?: Common name applied to any of the parasitic cestode worms in the noted genus. These intestinal parasites of vertebrate animals are flattened worms ranging in lenght ofrm about 1/2 inch to over 30 feet :shock:. The adult tapeworm is characterized by the presence of a head (or scolex) equipped with suckers and hooks for attaching to the intestinal lining of a host. Body segments (or proglottids) are created asexually from the scolex and make up the bulk of the worm. Distal proglottids break off from the main body when mature, and are passed out of the host via feces. Each proglottid contains numerous eggs, each containing an embryonic tapeworm.

If a living proglottid is ingested by another primary host, the proglottid generates a new scolex and the tapeworm resumes it's growth cycle. If tapeworm eggs are ingested (often through fecal contaminated water), they hatch in the intestinal tract and release larvae which burrow into the tissues of the host and form cysts (cysts bearing hosts are called intermediate hosts, and are usually pigs or cattle for worms that infest humans). The location of cyst formation is often specific to the species of tapeworm - - T. echinococcus attacks the liver of humans and dogs, for example, while T. coenurus forms cysts in the brain of sheep (causing the disease known as 'gid' or 'staggers'). When larvae are then ingested by a host (usually encysted in the undercooked meat of the intermediate host) they are stimulated by the gastric juice to develop into adult tapeworms.

What does it look like?: So glad you asked...

Mature Tapeworm

Image

Tapeworm Closeup - Sclolex

Image

What does it do?: If you have an intestinal infection, you might not notice at all - - intestinal infestations are relatively benign. Symptoms might include nausea, weight loss, diarrhea or other types of intestinal discomfort. If you have a cystic infection, however, symptoms can be severe, even deadly. Migrating larvae that form cysts in organs such as the brain, liver, etc. will cause symptoms ranging from massive internal infection to fatal disruption of organ function.

YUK!! Is it Contagious?!: Yes. Infestations are more common where hygiene is poor or humans live in close proximity to livestock.

How do I know if I have them?: You may notice infection by checking your stool for parts of the adult tapeworm, but it's likely you'll need your doctor to check your stool or send samples to a laboratory for testing. A laboratory may use microscopic identification techniques to check for eggs or tapeworm segments in your feces. The lab may need to collect two to three samples over a period of time to detect the parasite, since eggs and tapeworm segments are released irregularly into the stool.

For tissue-invasive infections, your doctor may also test your blood for antibodies your body may have produced to fight tapeworm infection. The presence of these antibodies indicates tapeworm infestation. Certain types of imaging, such as CT or MRI scans, also may be used for diagnosis.

How do I keep from Getting Them?: The good news is that you can help prevent tapeworm infection with good personal hygiene, such as washing your hands before eating, and avoiding eating raw or undercooked meats. Keeping drinking water sources from being contaminated with fecal matter will prevent ingestion of eggs via this source. Wash fruits and vegetables with clean water prior to eating them if you aren't going to cook them.

How are they treated pre-PAW: The most common treatment for tapeworm infection involves oral medications that are toxic to the tapeworm. These drugs include praziquantel (Biltricide) or albendazole (Albenza). The medication prescribed depends on the species of organism and site of infection involved, and generally work by dissolving or otherwise attacking the adult tapeworm.

In cases in which the tapeworm infection has migrated to tissues outside your intestine, your doctor may prescribe an anti-inflammatory steroid to reduce any swelling caused by the development of cysts.

Surgery may be required to remove cysts that have developed in your liver, lungs or other organs, and organ transplantation may be your only option.

Can I treat them in the PAW?: Prevention is the key to avoiding this infection - - the 'home remedies' I found seem pretty odd. Still, in the spirit of full disclosure...

Drinking coconut milk 2X day for 20 days will expell the worm.
Take a bath in milk (?) - - the worm will self expel, attracted by the milk.
Add large amounts of garlic, cloves, carrots, or pumpkin seeds

ZS Thread with Additional Information: None found as of the date of this post.

Other sites with information?:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/tapeworm/DS00659
http://www.natural-homeremedies.org/blo ... festation/

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Watson: "Yes, I thought it as well to take them."
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 Post subject: Re: Parasites!
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 10:11 pm 
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I would like to point out that the majority of parasites are not especially harmful to have. Remember, a parasite that kills you is a parasite that has destroyed its own food supply.

Ticks - unless you get a diseased one, only freaky and annoying.
Lice - Annoying
Fleas - Annoying
Tapeworms - Unnoticeable. Most people that have them never realize it.
Mosquitoes - Annoying
Pinworms - Annoying

In the PAW, I wouldn't sweat the parasites too much. I'm sure there are a select few that mess you up, but most are just annoying.

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 Post subject: Re: Parasites!
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 11:57 pm 
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Erik wrote:
I would like to point out that the majority of parasites are not especially harmful to have. Remember, a parasite that kills you is a parasite that has destroyed its own food supply.

Ticks - unless you get a diseased one, only freaky and annoying.
Lice - Annoying
Fleas - Annoying
Tapeworms - Unnoticeable. Most people that have them never realize it.
Mosquitoes - Annoying
Pinworms - Annoying

In the PAW, I wouldn't sweat the parasites too much. I'm sure there are a select few that mess you up, but most are just annoying.



Unless they're either :
a)- acting as a vector for disease.
b)- Causing you to need to consume more calories when food may be scarce.
c)- Eat/damage your muscles, organs, or other tissues.
d)- excrete toxins into your body that harm you.
e)- perforate your skin so that bacterial, viral, or fungal infections can enter your system more easily.
f)- Cause itching or other irritation causing you to scratch and open your skin to infection.
g)- cause an allergic or immune response that compromises your health or ability to function.



Ticks - Can be carriers of very harmful bacterial infections, and without a lab there is no way to know if the one you have is a carrier.
Lice - itching/scratching can open your skin to infection.
Fleas - Can be carriers of serious bacterial and viral infections. Large enough infestations can cause anemia.
Tapeworms - Consume large ammounts of calories that you need to survive. In adolescent phase can destroy organs. Can also cause general malaise and fatigue.
Mosquitoes - Carriers of numerous disease. Infections carried by mosquitoes may have killed more humans than any single other source.
Pinworms - Yup...annoying. Small chance of (as previously stated) causing itching/scratching leading to infection.

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 Post subject: Re: Parasites!
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 11:52 am 
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Erik wrote:
I would like to point out that the majority of parasites are not especially harmful to have. In the PAW, I wouldn't sweat the parasites too much. I'm sure there are a select few that mess you up, but most are just annoying.

See LowKey's post.

Also, I think it's also important to note that for a normal, clean, uninjured, otherwise medically healthy, well nourished, non-elderly adult most parasites are just annoying. In a bad PAW scenario, many people are going to have constant minor nagging injuries, be nutritionally deficient in one or more areas, likely have a compromised immune system for a variety of reasons, and probably are going to be carrying around a semi-constant low grade infection of some sort or another. In that scenario, an otherwise fairly benign parasite is just one more insult to an already weakend person. It behooves us to know how to avoid and treat this type of insult.

A 'simple' case of intestinal nematodes, for example, left untreated, can lead to an appalling variety of fatal issues, including rectal prolapse (your asshole and descending colon turn inside out), complete occlusion of the GI tract (i.e., your guts fill with foot long worms to the point that you die from intestinal blockage), migration of the nematodes to other parts of the body once the guts fill up (pictures of a foot long worm finding it's way to your sinuses and settting up camp with about 10,000 offspring) etc. Not good.

We must not confuse 'annoying' or 'not especially harmful' with 'nothing to worry about'. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Parasites!
PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:50 am 
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Apache wrote:
dogbane wrote:
Nasty pic.

Anyway, here's a remedy I heard from my wife's grandmother, who was a country farmer's daughter and farmer's wife, for getting rid of intestinal worms: Get a can of turpentine and start massaging it into the skin around the throat, then work your way down the chest along the esophagus to the stomach, then down the abdomen to the groin. She claimed this would absorb through the skin into the digestive organs and drive the worms screaming from the anus. The reason to start at the throat is to keep them from coming up through the stomach and out yer mouth! Whee!

That won't work. I promise

I checked with my mother-in-law, and she recalls that they also took a spoonful of turpentine orally.

Incidentally, what evidence do you have that this doesn't work? My internet search resulted in a number references to this remedy for humans, as well as many, many veterinary references for treating worms in hogs and cattle.

So what I'm saying is, at the moment, your anonymous internet promise is worth less than the collective experience of countless farmers.

This isn't to say that, were I to get tapeworms, I would go to a farmer or a veterinarian for treatment instead of my internist.

edited because I said "kerosene" when I meant "turpentine".

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Last edited by dogbane on Mon Oct 05, 2009 5:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Parasites!
PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 6:48 pm 
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dogbane wrote:
Apache wrote:
dogbane wrote:
Nasty pic.

Anyway, here's a remedy I heard from my wife's grandmother, who was a country farmer's daughter and farmer's wife, for getting rid of intestinal worms: Get a can of turpentine and start massaging it into the skin around the throat, then work your way down the chest along the esophagus to the stomach, then down the abdomen to the groin. She claimed this would absorb through the skin into the digestive organs and drive the worms screaming from the anus. The reason to start at the throat is to keep them from coming up through the stomach and out yer mouth! Whee!

That won't work. I promise

I checked with my mother-in-law, and she recalls that they also took a spoonful of kerosene orally.

Incidentally, what evidence do you have that this doesn't work? My internet search resulted in a number references to this remedy for humans, as well as many, many veterinary references for treating worms in hogs and cattle.

So what I'm saying is, at the moment, your anonymous internet promise is worth less than the collective experience of countless farmers.

This isn't to say that, were I to get tapeworms, I would go to a farmer or a veterinarian for treatment instead of my internist.


1. Kerosene is toxic and ingestion has been fatal. There are many references eg (http://healthguide.howstuffworks.com/ke ... ionary.htm).
2. There is little evidence that it is absorbed through the skin, although it does remove the protective grease and may therefore increase it's permeability to other molecules (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10750280)
3. Worms can't 'scream' and arn't (on the whole) especially motile.

Therefore I can safely say that by rubbing it on the skin it won't be absorbed into the digestive organs and drive the worms screaming from the anus.

It would likely kill the worm but burn your skin and maybe even kill you.

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 Post subject: Re: Parasites!
PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:05 pm 
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Apache wrote:
dogbane wrote:
Apache wrote:
dogbane wrote:
Nasty pic.

Anyway, here's a remedy I heard from my wife's grandmother, who was a country farmer's daughter and farmer's wife, for getting rid of intestinal worms: Get a can of turpentine and start massaging it into the skin around the throat, then work your way down the chest along the esophagus to the stomach, then down the abdomen to the groin. She claimed this would absorb through the skin into the digestive organs and drive the worms screaming from the anus. The reason to start at the throat is to keep them from coming up through the stomach and out yer mouth! Whee!

That won't work. I promise

I checked with my mother-in-law, and she recalls that they also took a spoonful of kerosene orally.

Incidentally, what evidence do you have that this doesn't work? My internet search resulted in a number references to this remedy for humans, as well as many, many veterinary references for treating worms in hogs and cattle.

So what I'm saying is, at the moment, your anonymous internet promise is worth less than the collective experience of countless farmers.

This isn't to say that, were I to get tapeworms, I would go to a farmer or a veterinarian for treatment instead of my internist.


1. Kerosene is toxic and ingestion has been fatal. There are many references eg (http://healthguide.howstuffworks.com/ke ... ionary.htm).
2. There is little evidence that it is absorbed through the skin, although it does remove the protective grease and may therefore increase it's permeability to other molecules (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10750280)
3. Worms can't 'scream' and arn't (on the whole) especially motile.

Therefore I can safely say that by rubbing it on the skin it won't be absorbed into the digestive organs and drive the worms screaming from the anus.

It would likely kill the worm but burn your skin and maybe even kill you.


Thanks! That's the kind of detailed debunking I like that puts the kibosh on crackpot remedies. :D (Though the screaming was, obviously, figurative, though it makes for an interesting mental image.)

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 Post subject: Re: Parasites!
PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 10:36 pm 
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Apache wrote:
1. Kerosene is toxic and ingestion has been fatal. There are many references eg (http://healthguide.howstuffworks.com/ke ... ionary.htm).
2. There is little evidence that it is absorbed through the skin, although it does remove the protective grease and may therefore increase it's permeability to other molecules (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10750280)
3. Worms can't 'scream' and arn't (on the whole) especially motile.

Therefore I can safely say that by rubbing it on the skin it won't be absorbed into the digestive organs and drive the worms screaming from the anus.

It would likely kill the worm but burn your skin and maybe even kill you.



^^^^^ This is a much better response than the original response.


Apache wrote:
That won't work. I promise

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 Post subject: Re: Parasites!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 5:39 am 
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Oops, I said "kerosene" in my post at Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:50 am, when I meant turpentine. They didn't swallow kerosene. Edited to fix that post.

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 Post subject: Re: Parasites!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 5:34 pm 
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dogbane wrote:
Oops, I said "kerosene" in my post at Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:50 am, when I meant turpentine. They didn't swallow kerosene. Edited to fix that post.

Turpentine WAS used internally but is toxic, can cause lung complications, seizures, renal failure and even death!

http://www.drugs.com/npp/turpentine.html
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8206 ... d_RVDocSum

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 Post subject: Re: Parasites!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 6:17 pm 
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I was attacked by a honey badger

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LowKey wrote:
IIRC, nicotine acts as a vermifuge when ingested. I think I picked this up out of an old US Army FM on survival way back when I was a young private. I think it recommended eating 4-6 cigarettes (sans filters :wink: ), or just until you felt woozy.

Can any one verify if that is effective?
Will it work on all intestinal parasites, or only on worms? (are their any non-worm intestinal parasites?? :shock: )



I've also heard this from multiple sources, but I dont feel like bringing them up at the moment, although I do belive an Army Field Manual was one of the sources I remember.

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 Post subject: Re: Parasites!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 7:17 pm 
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DannusMaximus wrote:
I'll get this party started with...PINWORMS!!

PINWORMS



A mate of mine just made a garlic 85% liqour (don't ask why..) would that help?

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 Post subject: Re: Parasites!
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 4:19 pm 
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JCgoose wrote:
DannusMaximus wrote:
I'll get this party started with...PINWORMS!!

PINWORMS



A mate of mine just made a garlic 85% liqour (don't ask why..) would that help?

Yes - after a couple of glasses you wouldn't care if you had worms :D

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So, yeah, well be fucked when theres no more antibiotics, but so will all the old people without boners.


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 Post subject: Re: Parasites!
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 1:10 am 
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Ticks.

I don't know much, but I enjoy this thread and want to keep it alive. Here is my 2 cents.

What are they: Nasty little buggers that like to suck your blood.
Why are they dangerous: They carry diseases that can be fatal, especially in the PAW without treatment.
Prevention: When going out in the woods wear a cover (read: hat), boots and long socks. When able, take a shower after being exposed to environments with ticks and check. Remove them ASAP.
Treatment for Lyme disease and other tick transmitted pathogens: ???

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 Post subject: Re: Parasites!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 4:35 am 
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Bump :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Parasites!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:06 am 
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BEDBUGS

Scientific Name: Cimex lectularius

What is it?:A small redish brown insect about 4–5 mm (1/8th – 3/16th of an inch) in length that feeds on blood during the night, usually about an hour or so before dawn.

Here's a picture of your vampiric buddy...
Image
Doesn't really have the charm of the vampires you've seen on the silver screen, huh?

What does it do?: Punctures you with 2 tube-like projections, one injecting it's saliva (with anti-coagulants and anesthetics), the other sucking blood from you.

Pictures of some poor souls dealing with bed bug infestations-
Image
Image
Image

Is it Contagious: Infestations are on the rise worldwide, with a %500 percent increase in the USA. They not only live deep inside bedding, but elsewhere in your surroundings, usually within 30 meters of their host. While they may be carried on the hosts clothing, such action is atypical. Most infestations are spread by bedding or luggage being moved from one domicile to another.

How would this effect me in the PAW?:
If you take refuge in a location with these insects, they could burrow into your bedding (sleeping bag, blankets, ect) and be transported with you, resulting in your being bitten each night.
If you've bugged in, if anyone who arrives for shelter (friends, family, ect) has these insects in their luggage or bedding they will move in and infest your home.

How do I know if I have them?: Indications are linear patterns of bites on the skin following blood vessels near the surface. An alternative way to check for them is to wake up about 1 hour before dawn and use a flashlight to check your bedding. Move quickly and scan with a bright light as they will scurry to hide. Another sign you can look for are small bloodstains on your bedding material resulting from the bites.
You can also look for dead bedbugs, feces, and eggs. Good luck, as they may not be concentrated in one spot, but just in case...here's a pic-
Image

What hazard do they present:
Primarily loss of sleep due to the discomfort caused by the bites themselves as well as difficulty sleeping due to anxiety.
Serious infestations can cause anemia.
While there are very few documented cases of disease being spread by bedbug bites, these insects were considered eradicated in the US and most of Europe, so few cases of infestations were available to study this possibility. As these creatures feed on blood and will do so nightly it is not unlikely that they may be discovered to transmit infestations when feeding on 2 separate hosts within a few days .
How do I keep from Getting Them?:
Visually inspect the area you will be sleeping in for the bugs themselves. Look in the nooks and crannies, mattress seams, and under piles of household debris such as old newspapers and discarded clothing for the insects.

How are they treated pre-PAW:

As the pest control industry has shifted away from insecticide sprays in favor of baits and gel poisons, the number of bedbug infestations has surged. In the past, spraying for cockroaches incidentally killed the bedbugs as well. As bedbugs are not debris eaters and seek out their prey for blood by warmth they are not drawn to nor will they eat poisoned baits. Without the use of sprayed insecticides the extermination of bedbugs must be done by more mechanical means.
Heat- exposure to 120F degree temperatures at 20-30% humidity for a minimum of 20 minutes will kill the insects in all stages of life. This may present difficulties when treating such items as a mattress, as they will migrate to cooler areas inside so care must be taken to ensure that the internal temperature throughout is raised and held at the proper point.


Can I treat them in the PAW?: Exposure to high temperature as above. Your best option is to avoid the infestation in the first place. Sleep off the ground whenever possible, and if using a bed place the legs of the bed in cups/cans with a layer of Vaseline on the inside bottom of the can to prevent them from climbing into bed with you.
Be aware that these insects will crawl up walls and across a ceiling to drop on you from above, so insect netting may be in order.

While I have no documentation on this, I suggest treating the netting with pyrethrin if available.

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