|How Does One Get Pinworms ?
Pinworms are small, white parasitic worms that grow in small intestines and can cause excessive itching in the vaginal or anal area. People unknowingly swallow the microscopic pinworm eggs from contaminated fingers which then enter the intestines and multiply.
Pinworm infection is very contagious as the eggs from the infected person can easily spread to different surfaces like bed linens, toilet seats, clothing, food, glasses, utensils, bathroom fixtures and walls. When the eggs pass on to dirty hands and when a person swallows using these unwashed contaminated hands, infection spreads easily.
Fertile eggs can survive for 20 days and can also spread by inhaling the infected air or even house dust. Adult worms inhabit portions of the intestines while female worms crawl down and lay their eggs in the anal region and infect immediately within a few hours.
Contaminated food and water, dusty areas, and sharing the bed or clothes of an infected person can also spread the infection. The infected person is advised not to handle food for the household as it can easily spread the eggs thus infecting the rest of the family members.
The anal or the vaginal area occasionally becomes infected with bacteria due to constant scratching. Sometimes pinworms are found within the appendix and can cause acute inflammation and pain. Loss of appetite, stomach aches, nervousness, irritability, insomnia, bed wetting, nausea and vomiting are some common symptoms of pinworms.
Infants easily infect the entire family as the eggs spread to every room of the house and also sheets, walls and carpets.
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