Just a heads up, this post is going to be gross.
I feel like I need to give some background information about myself. I hate things without legs or things that look like they don’t have legs. Snakes, slugs, worms, snails, eels, and sometimes even caterpillars …stay away from me. I get grossed out just thinking about them.
Last week I was in a taxi headed home one night with some friends. It had been pouring down rain and our taxi driver was driving through water that made my mind start screaming “turn around don’t drown.” So, needless to say I was more focused on our car getting stuck on a flooded street then the conservation going on around me. My ears all the sudden tuned in to “worms.” One of my friends, who has lived here for a year, said it’s common for people to get worms and that it’s recommended to take de-worming meds every six months. She said it’s so common that all you have to do is walk into a pharmacy and say the word “worm” and they know what you’re talking about. My mind flashed to a recent episode of Grey’s Anatomy where a girl in the ER had an epic amount of worms in her intestines. It’s was so gross and hard to watch. So, in true Sunshine fashion, I went home and started googling. Here’s what I learned:
“Việt Nam is among the Asian countries with the highest rate of worm infections, according to the World Health Organization. Seventy-five percent of the Vietnamese population, including children 2 to 12 years old, was infected with worms in 2010.” You can read more here or google “Vietnam + worms” for more articles.
I’m sorry, what?!?! Seventy five percent! Holy cow!
This more recent article stated fifty percent and “Called “6116 Deworming,” the program is aimed at encouraging everyone to worm themselves on January 6 and June 1 every year. ”
Fifty percent or seventy-five percent, doesn’t matter to me, both numbers are too high! I’m hoping the more recent article means the numbers are going down!
You can get worms, hookworms, roundworms, ascaris and pinworms, from water or soil. Several of those worms get into your body through your feet! (I’m really wishing I didn’t love flip flops so much right now.) I’m not completely naive, I know people can get worms, kids get them all the time from eating dirt, it’s just not something I thought about when I moved here. Stomach issues, yes, but that’s about as far as my “health concerns” went.
However, there is a bright side to all this grossness. All you have to do is “deworm” every six months with a Fugacar pill which cost less than $1.00 USD. Even though I don’t have worms (that I know of) I bought some tonight!
Other “fun” facts I learned:
Worms can divert 1/3 of the food a child consumes
1.5 billion people in the world have roundworms
1 billion people in the world have whipworms
1.3 billion people carry hookworms in their gut
Sources: UNICEF, WSSCC and mtherald.com You can read more here.
And don’t worry, if you’re coming to visit me, I’ll send you home with a pill if this blog totally freaked you out! Ha ha!
Blogging is not something I’m necessarily good at and autocorrect and I have a love/hate relationship, so please ignore any typos, misspelled words, or all together wrong words. 😉