Whipworm infection is a parasitic infection of the large intestine. The causative agent is a nematode of the genus Trichuris. Transmission usually occurs as a result of contact with soil contaminated with whipworm eggs. In some instances, infected individuals may be asymptomatic. In other cases, the infection is characterized by gastrointestinal symptoms, including bloody diarrhea, anemia and rectal prolapse.
In Our Own Words
A whipworm infection is caused by a type of roundworm. The worms live and grow in the large intestines, where they may cause light asymptomatic infections, or heavy infections with more severe symptoms, including bloody diarrhea. Whipworms can affect people of all ages, but children seem to be more prone to them. Whipworm eggs are sometimes found in the soil, and infection can occur when a person accidently swallows the eggs; eggs can also gain access via unwashed foods or items not peeled or cooked.