Threadworm, also known as pinworm is a very common intestinal parasite that uses the human body to survive and reproduce. Threadworm infection is a highly contagious type of human intestinal worm infection and one that is found across the world.
The infection affects both adults and children but they are most common in children. The infection is spread very easily but can be treated easily and also be prevented.
A person becomes infected with threadworms when the person ingests or inhales threadworm eggs. Some persons with threadworm infection do not experience any symptoms but some persons do and their symptoms may include:
- Itchy anus, which is usually worse at night
- A urge to often scratch the anal area
- Redness around the anus
- Pain, rash and irritation around the anus
- Abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting
- Itchiness around the vagina
- Visible worms around the anus
Once threadworm infection has been diagnosed, the doctor would prescribe appropriate treatment. The infection is not a serious illness and serious complications or long-term health effects are rare.
In addition to medication, there are very important measures a person should take to ensure complete elimination of the infection and to prevent it from being spread on to others. These measures include:
- Keeping the fingernails short and clean
- Washing hands thoroughly after visiting the toilet and before eating
- Cleaning toilet seats frequently