Pinworms are highly contagious and cause itchiness around the anus and vagina.
The term “pinworm” refers to enterobiasis vermolis, a small, thread-like, white thread (formally known as nematode) that affects people’s intestines.
Pinworm infections are commonly referred to as enterobiasis, but are sometimes also known as axioriasis or threadworms.
Entropy is the most common type of worm infection in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In high-risk groups – children under the age of 18, institutional people, and those caring for infected people – the spread of pinworm infections can reach up to 50%.
How Do You Get Pinworms?
Enterobiasis is a contagious disease, and people can pass the infection.
According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, you get worms from drinking e-vermolysis eggs – which are highly resistant to moisture, drying, and can stay in the environment for a long time.
Adult female pinworms lay thousands of eggs on the perianal skin (the area around the anus). By scratching the contaminated area and then putting your fingers in your mouth, you can expose yourself to these eggs.
Once at your fingertips, microscopic eggs can also be transferred and attached to many different levels – including toys, beds, clothes, towels, toilet seats, sandboxes, food, drinking glasses and utensils – where they Can live up to 3 weeks. According to the CDC, surfaces are not cleaned.
Eggs can also be scattered in the air and breathe.
Enterobius vermicularis Life Cycle
Pin bugs can only infect humans.
Inside the body, E. vermolysis eggs hatch in the small intestine and take 1 to 2 months to mature. Adult worms travel to the large intestine (colon) to reconnect.
At night – usually when their human hosts are asleep – pregnant female pinworms release their eggs into the anus to collect in the perineal area.
The CDC noted that the larvae in these eggs can become infected in at least 4 to 6 hours.
It is possible for larvae to travel to hatch and back to the rectum, but it is not known how often this happens.
Signs and Symptoms of Pinworms
Many people do not develop any symptoms from enterobiasis, while others develop mild symptoms.
Itching around the anus and vagina – caused by the movement of pinworms in pregnant women – is the most common symptom of pinworm infections. It can itch:
Itching can cause bacterial infections
In rare cases, nematodes can spread to the vaginal area and cause urinary tract infections.
They can also tour the appendix and cause appendix-like symptoms – such as vomiting, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite – without causing actual inflammation of the appendix.
Treatment and Medication Options for Pinworms
Pin worms are treated with one of several antiparasitic drugs, taken in two doses spaced two weeks apart (the second dose kills the egg that is born after the first dose).
These medicines include:
According to the CDC, parenteral palmitate is available without a prescription, but it is not as effective as the two drugs.
It is important to treat pinworms for everyone in the home, even if it is not clear that they are infected and have no symptoms.
Good hygiene and proper care help prevent the spread and re-infection of insects. Helpful steps include:
Clean the toilet frequently
Showering every morning (bathing is safer than bathing)
Carefully handle underclothes, night clothes, towels and bedding (do not shake them, or e-vermolysis eggs may be in the air), and wash them frequently.
Avoid scratching the perianal area
Keep your nails short, and don’t cut them
Wash your hands properly, such as before and after meals and after going to the bathroom