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The pinworm infection is the most common parasitic ailment to affect North American children. While they rarely cause complications, pinworms are nevertheless difficult to detect. That is why it is important to better understand this parasite in order to recognize and treat it quickly and efficiently.
A pinworm infection is cause by small, white worms that measure from three to ten millimetres and develop in the large intestine of their host.
At night, the female worm wriggles out of her “nest’ to lay her eggs around the edge of the anus. These eggs are covered in a jelly-like substance, which, combined with the wriggling of the female, causes the infected person to experience severe itching.
These parasites generally spread in one of two ways:
Self-recontamination is common in children because they tend to scratch themselves and then place their egg-contaminated hands in their mouths or noses. The eggs then make their way back to the intestine, and the cycle continues.
If your child complains of itching, examine the area around his anus with a flashlight when he is asleep. The worms are small, but visible to the naked eye. To obtain an accurate diagnosis, you can collect some of the eggs or pinworms using a piece of tape that you then fold over and bring to your doctor. This will help him prescribe the best course of treatment.
The entire household in contact with the infected person will need to be treated. In addition, since pinworm eggs can survive outside the body at room temperature for up to three weeks, the treatment must be repeated after two weeks in order to avoid a new outbreak.
Also, the toys, bedding and clothing of the entire family must be washed in hot water to eliminate any additional eggs.
There are a few hygiene measures that can help prevent or destroy pinworms:
If you have additional questions about the pinworm infection and its treatment, talk to your pharmacist. He’s there to help!
[UNIPRIX] - The information contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide complete information on the subject matter or to replace the advice of a health professional. This information does not constitute medical consultation, diagnosis or opinion and should not be interpreted as such. Please consult your health care provider if you have any questions about your health, medications or treatment.