Thursday, March 4, 2010

Necator americanus

Sounds almost patriotic: Necator Americanus. Unfortunately the name refers to a parasite, a species of hookworm that infests people.

When a laboratory sent test results to my doctor saying that I have this parasite, I was taken aback. I always associated hookworm with barefoot children walking in mud in warm climates. I don't fit that profile at all.

I looked up hookworm on Wikipedia and other sites and did not find that I was wrong, except that hookworm used to be common in temperate climates such as in Virginia. But I don't go barefoot except at the beach, and the last time I went to a beach was one time in August. I really don't know how I contracted this parasite!

The doctor prescribed medication which I took as directed. It works 80% of the time, so I don't know whether it worked for me. I guess I'll be retested somewhere down the road.