Severe Pinworm Infection

According to the Mayo Clinic, pinworm is the most common parasitic roundworm infection in the United States. Roundworms, including pinworms, typically live in the intestinal area and use the body as a host to stay alive and reproduce.

  1. Pinworms

    • Pinworms are tiny roundworms that are between 0.2 and 0.4 inches in length. After sexual maturity is reached, the female lays her eggs at the opening of the anal cavity of the host.

    Risk Factors

    • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those most at risk for pinworm include schoolchildren, those who are around others with a pinworm infection, and people living in institutionalized settings.

    Severe Infection

    • People who are infected with few pinworms often experience no symptoms at all. However, when a large number of pinworms are present, symptoms include an itching sensation surrounding the anus, insomnia and mild stomach upset or nausea.

    Complications

    • Large numbers of pinworms can lead to severe abdominal pain and weight loss. In women, pinworms can enter the vagina and infect the uterus, bladder or fallopian tubes.

    How Spread

    • Pinworms are spread when individuals come into contact with and subsequently ingest pinworm eggs. Touching surfaces that contain pinworm eggs, such as clothing from infected persons, and then placing the hands in or near the mouth can also introduce pinworm eggs into the body.

    Treatment

    • Pinworms are successfully treated with antiparasitic medications. To prevent reinfection, take precautionary measures such as frequent hand washing to prevent pinworm eggs from entering your body.

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