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Incubation, Signs and Symptoms
Incubation Period: 2-6 weeks.
Signs and Symptoms: Tiny parasitic worms that live in the lower intestine. Symptoms include anal itching with disturbed sleep, irritability, and local irritation due to scratching. The female worms resemble short white threads. They lay their microscopic eggs around the anus at night. Itching might be more intense at night. Pinworm infections are common in school-age children. Pinworms do not cause bed wetting or teeth grinding.
Methods of Transmission
Direct transfer of eggs from anus to mouth. Eggs may get on hands from articles contaminated with eggs of the parasite, such as clothing or bedding. Pinworms from animals cannot be transmitted to people.
Minimum Control Measures
Communicable Period: As long as the worms/eggs are present.
Control: The child should receive medical attention. Proper handwashing is necessary before eating and after toilet use. Reinfection is common. Thoroughly clean the bathroom and vacuum the house. Change bed linens and bath towels. Eggs survive less than 2 weeks outside of the host.
Close contacts, such as siblings, should be checked and treated if necessary. Linens, clothing and bedding should not be shared and should be washed frequently. Pinworm infection may be present without symptoms. Keep fingernails trimmed short. Discourage nail biting. Showers in the morning are preferred to baths. Make sure children wash their hands after each toilet use and before meals.
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