The public health significance of hookworm disease is briefly reviewed. The latest evidence confirms that blood loss caused by the worms' feeding activity in the gut is a contributing factor in the development of poor iron status leading to iron-deficiency anaemia. The World Health Organization has identified adolescent girls and women of child-bearing age as high-risk groups regarding the impact of hookworm disease. The merits of treating pregnant women with anthelminthic drugs after the first trimester are discussed.
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