Pinworm infection, enterobiasis

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Publié le : 15 février 2023

Dernière mise à jour : 16 février 2023


Unknown to some, a taboo to others, pinworm infection (enterobiasis) is a very contagious one that thrives on remaining ignored.

pinworm oxyurose

I work with young families in our community. Also, I have one child at the Sutton School and one child in daycare. I have come to the understanding that pinworms, an intestinal infection caused by small white worms, is a very frequent occurrence in our environments. I would like to alert our community to this challenge. Unknown to some, a taboo to others, this very contagious infection is not propagated by a lack of hygiene, but thrives on remaining ignored.

The infection

Pinworms infect mostly children, who often have their fingers in their mouth. They lay their eggs around the anus at night, leaving an irritating substance which creates itchiness. As the child scratches during sleep, eggs are moved to clothes, bedding, and under the child’s nails. This is how a cycle of transmission starts, easily expanding to new environments and people.

This relatively harmless infection can become a problem when it reoccurs often. Overexposure to pinworms creates a stressful situation for families, who have to execute a thorough disinfection of their homes and do extensive laundry, and maintain rigorous hygiene measures in the household, etc. It also brings a work overload in daycares, and disturbs healthy intestinal fonction.

A collective effort is needed

When a community is faced with a rise in this infection, a collective effort makes all the difference.
Symptoms of pinworms in children :

  • Itching of the anal and genital areas
  • Redness around the anus
  • Nocturnal awakenings
  • Irritability
  • Regression in potty training
  • Belly aches

How to detect and treat an infection

You can confirm the presence of pinworms by inspecting your child’s anus two to three hours after they have fallen asleep. Treatment is prescribed by a pharmacist without the need of a medical consultation. For more information:

Une maman de la communauté

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