Hookworm is a parasite that causes infection in people of all ages. It enters the body through the skin and can lead to a number of complications.

Hookworm is most likely to occur in a moist, hot climate. However, they occur in many locations around the world, including the United States.

According to the , between 576 and 740 million people worldwide have hookworm infections. It was once common in the southeastern parts of the U.S., but improvements in living conditions have reduced its occurrence.

However, wherever humans and animals live together, including pets, infection is possible.

There are different species of hookworm. The ones that infect humans include the Ancylostoma duodenale and Necator americanus.

People with a hookworm infection may show some of the following symptoms:

Taking pets to the vet regularly for testing and treatment can reduce the risk of catching and spreading hookworms.

Hookworms can be present in household pets, including dogs and cats. The animal strain can spread to humans in some cases.

For this reason, the recommend fecal testing in cats and dogs, with more frequent testing in the kitten and puppy age groups.

The CAPC recommend at least four intestinal parasite tests in the first year and a minimum of two a year afterward. As with any preventive testing, the animals' health and certain risk factors will guide how often testing is needed.

To prevent parasitic infection, the CAPC recommend year-round broad-spectrum parasite control and also recommend promptly removing animal stool from litter boxes and yards.

Other public safety measures that people can take to reduce hookworm transmission include:

For additional information on cat and dog hookworm infections, visit the CAPC's .

People should speak to a doctor if they:

A veterinarian can offer advice on screening and treatment of a dog or cat.