Latest Zika Situation Report

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World Health Organization

Latest Zika Situation Report

Neurological syndrome and congenital anomalies

5 February Read more

Parasitic Worms that can Penetrate Intact Skin


ISSN: 1059-6518

Parasitic worms and shoes – all about why, to stay healthy, we wear shoes.

By Frank Hubbell, DO

Illustrations By T.B.R. Walsh

The intention of this article is to explain why you should never, ever walk around the great outdoors barefoot, and why you should never, ever lie on moist ground exposing unprotected bare skin to the soil.

The reason is actually quite simple and a bit disgusting. There are parasitic worms that can live in warm, moist soil. When they come into contact with your skin, they will latch on to you, make a hole in your intact, healthy skin, and burrow into you. Once inside, they will proceed to their target organ, usually your intestinal tract, and parasitize you. As their unwilling host, you become sick and are now part of their life cycle.


Helminthes are parasitic worms in the Kingdom of Animalia.

Within this Kingdom there are two Phylum of parasitic worms, Platyhelmenthes and Nematoda.

The Phylum of Platyhelmenthes has two Classes of parasitic worms, Cestodes – tapeworms and Trematodes – flukes and flatworms.

The Phylum of Nematoda contains one Class of parasitic worms, Nematoda – roundworms.

There are many ways to divide up the world or parasitic worms. One way to distinguish them is by how they enter and parasitize their host. Most commonly, these parasitic worms gain entrance via the alimentary canal when you consume contaminated food or water. The other way is by penetrating intact, healthy skin.

In this article we are going to review the parasitic worms that gain access to their host by directly penetrating intact, healthy skin.

Parasitic Nematodes that enter the body by penetrating intact skin:

Necator americanis /Ancylostoma duodenale – hookworm

Ancylostoma braziliense – cutaneous larva migrans

Strongyloides stercoralis – threadworm

Parasitic Trematodes that enter the body by penetrating intact skin:

Schistosomiasis – swimmer’s itch

All of the other parasitic worms: cestodes – tapeworms, nematodes – round worms, and trematodes – flatworms and flukes, enter by ingestion of the infectious parasite in food or water.

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But wait, there is yet another reason why you do not want to get bitten by a tick.

ISSN-1059-6518TOT header

Volume 28 Number 4

 By Frank Hubbell, DO

A tick bite can spread various diseases, but, as it turns Read more



ISSN 5910-6518

Volume 28 Number 3

By Frank Hubbell, D.O.

Illustrations by T.B.R. Walsh

History of the litter vehicle:

A litter vehicle is a wheelless, human-powered chair or platform designed to carry a person, so their feet will never touch the ground. Litters have been used for thousands of years to carry and transport nobility, the rich, and famous. Today the modern litter is designed instead to carry the sick and injured.

Examples of ancient litters for carrying nobility:

Lectica (Ancient Roman)

Kieu (Vietnam)

Sedan Chair (Britain)

Litera (Spain)

Palaquin (France, India, and China)

Jiao (China)

Wo (Thailand)

Gama (Korea)

Kosi, Ren, Kago (Japan)

Tahirevan (Turkey)


These litters can be open to the air, or closed to protect the passenger from the elements, and are usually supported and carried by a set of poles that project forward and backward under the chair.


Rear Admiral Charles Francis Stokes, MD, FACS

The modern litter for transporting the sick and injured was developed by Rear Admiral Charles Francis Stokes, MD, FACS (1863 – 1931). Dr. Stokes is the gentleman who is credited with creating the Stokes Splinter Stretcher (Stokes Litter). A wheelless, human-powered stretcher developed for the US Navy to transport injured military personnel on land, at sea, and across the gap between ships.

Dr. Stokes was also the Surgeon General for the US Navy and President Theodore Roosevelt’s surgeon.

The Stokes Litter, today simply called a litter, still exists with only a few refinements and use of more modern materials. It is commonly used by all EMS systems as it fills a very specific need for transporting the sick and injured in areas where ambulances and ambulance stretchers cannot gain access.

The litter consists of a rigid steel, aluminum, or titanium frame with an attached metal or plastic cage that surrounds, supports, and protects the patient.

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