Researchers in Edinburgh have discovered that having parasitic worms in your body may actually be beneficial.
Regions of the world with high rates of parasitic infection also have low rates of allergies and asthma. A link has now been discovered. A child infected with certain parasites may have no adverse symptoms, but their bodies will be producing beneficial T cells that prevent asthma and allergic reactions.
From the article:
Without parasites, some people might be overly vulnerable to immune problems, so good hygiene may be partly responsible for the spike in asthma in developed countries.This may lead to the discovery of drugs that can fight asthma and allergies by mimicking the body's response to parasitic worms.
Until the, you apparently have the option of not washing your hands and drinking from mud puddles in order to pick up one of these invaders, or you can just keep Claritin and an inhaler handy.
If you want to learn more about parasites and the fun things they can do to your body, be sure to check out the Parasite Pals Super Fun Site, which has fun cartoons, information and resources to buy merchandise featuring all of your favorite Parasite Pals!