Enterobius vermicularis (pinworm) is the most common worm infection in Europe and is most common with young school children and their families. It only spreads between humans, no pets will get infected by this parasite.
After a human ingests the eggs, larvae will grow out in the intestines in order to travel down to the appendix och caecum. About 5-13 weeks later the grown females will start laying their eggs in and around the anus and perineum, This can cause itching, mainly at night when the worms are active. The eggs can easily be shed, become part of dust and therefore infect others within the family or social group.
The pinworm usually does not give you any symptoms at all. A larger infection can give a clear itching sensation close to the anus and perineum. It can also cause poor sleep especially with kids, and also bruxism and insomnia.
The pinworms can also infect other parts of the body such as the vagina in small children.
The pinworm is hard to eradicate in our environment and spreads in childcare facilities as well as in schools.
During a treatment the whole family is usually treated and the home has to go through substantial cleaning in order to get rid of all potential eggs.
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