Dog Friendly Tips: Dog Worms, Humans & risk to children
Intestinal parasites of dogs and cats are potential health hazards for humans, too.
Roundworm eggs, if ingested, can cause a disease called "visceral larval migrans". Tiny worm larvae migrate through the human's intestinal wall and into body tissues. They can then grow to larger size almost anywhere in the body.
Roundworms are not spread to people by close contact with dogs or cats. The individual must ingest the infective stage of the roundworm eggs.
Because the eggs are primarily contained within the faeces, humans would need to consume the egg contaminated faeces for contagion to occur. It is unlikely an adult will voluntary consume dog faeces, but a child playing in an area where there is uncleared dog mess might do so inadvertently.
Similarly abrasions and cuts present a risk. If hookworm larvae penetrate the skin they can cause "cutaneous larval migrans", a potentially serious and scarring inflammation may result.
Children are at most serious risk for infestation, especially if they are playing in an environment where dog, cat, or other worm infected mammal faeces may be present, such as hidden in a sandbox.
So if allowing children to play in a garden area also used by dogs, be sure to collect all the dog poos using a poo scooper or bag, before letting your child into the same area.