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War Surgery and Medicine

Future of the Infection in New Zealand

Future of the Infection in New Zealand

Colonel Sayers considered there was little danger of hookworm infestation being spread in New Zealand by returning troops. The ova were not infective, and the infective filariform larvae did not develop for five days following excretion, so that re-infection of the individual or infection of other people by contamination of food handled by an infected person could not occur. The only method of infection was through the skin, or by eating food contaminated by the larvae. Hookworm normally die out gradually in the bowel, the maximum egg production occurring in six months, and the egg count dropped by 92 per cent in five years. Only when a sewerage system or septic tank was not used would any danger of spread arise. The only possibility of trouble might be in mines.

The experience of the Pacific Force showed the necessity to be on the alert for the development of hookworm infestation, although in its experience no serious trouble arose.