Don't let anyone freak you out about hookworm. Once you understand the lifecycle and it's distribution worldwide, you will find it's really nothing to be unduly concerned about.

Hookworm is a parasitic NEMATODE (yes, a worm).  Transmission is by exposure to infected human fecal material.

The Hookworm parasite is almost entirely confined to tropical, third-world countries where people habitually walk in soil contaminated by the excrement of infected humans. In the 1940s, hookworm occurred in some regions of the southern USA but has largely disappeared even there thanks to improved sanitation. The chance of getting hookworm from walking barefoot in a temperate region such as North America or Europe is very small. Hookworm is easily treatable with vermifuges such as tetrachloroethylene: its prevalence in tropical regions is largely a matter of public health, due to poor sanitation and lack of access to medical facilities.

To put it bluntly, The (microscopic) larvae of hookworm wait in the expelled fecal matter. They have about a week before they expire. They cannot travel far. So if someone with hookworm were to take a dump on the street ... then there would be a risk if you were to step in that.

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