Skip Navigation
Skip Website Tools

Volunteer for Clinical Studies
Volunteer for NIAID-funded clinical studies related to hookworm disease on

Additional Information From NIAID

Hookworm Disease

Skip Content Marketing
  • Share this:
  • submit to facebook
  • Tweet it
  • submit to reddit
  • submit to StumbleUpon
  • submit to Google +


You can get hookworms by walking barefoot over contaminated soil. In penetrating your skin, the hookworm larvae (immature worms) may cause an allergic reaction. It is from the itchy patch at the place where the larvae entered your body that the early infection came to be known as "ground itch."

Once larvae have broken through your skin, they enter your bloodstream and are carried to your lungs. Unlike ascarids, another form of parasitic roundworm, hookworms do not usually cause pneumonia.

The larvae migrate from your lungs to your windpipe and are then swallowed and carried back down to your small intestine. 

Last Updated September 13, 2007

Last Reviewed May 12, 2011