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Frequently Asked Questions
What are Threadworms?
Threadworms are microscopic parasites that are also known as pinworms. These parasitic worms infect the large intestine. It usually occurs in young children, and most of the time it is unnoticed by those infected.
The worms are tiny and look like short pieces of white thread. If your child is infected, you will notice the threadworms in the stool. In rare cases, the worms may stay on the beddings or on the pyjamas too.
Many people do not experience any symptoms. However, the main sign of the infection is itching in the anus or the vagina in some cases. The itchy feeling gets worse at night which makes people scratch their bottoms while they are asleep and cause sleep interruption. The constant scratching may sometimes develop into a skin infection, especially when there is broken skin that the bacteria can enter. Symptoms of threadworms can become severe such as loss of appetite or weight loss.
What Causes The Spread of Threadworms?
People infected with threadworms experience a more intense itching sensation at night because the threadworms lay their eggs during this period. The eggs are laid around the anus of the infected person. During the process of laying the eggs, the threadworms secrete mucus that causes an itchy bottom. When the person starts to scratch their anus, the eggs can get into the fingertips.
Then, those threadworm eggs reach other places depending on what the person touches. It can move to the surfaces, clothes or even other people’s hands and then to the mouth. The swallowed eggs will hatch inside the intestines. The eggs that hatched around the anal area can re-enter the bowel. The eggs can survive for two weeks before they hatch. After hatching they grow into their full size and start their reproductive cycle again.
What is the Treatment for Threadworms?
Treating threadworm infection is easy and only needs one dose of Mebendazole. But, it is necessary for everyone in the household to undergo treatment to ensure complete eradication of unhatched eggs. It can be difficult to spot carriers because symptoms don’t show when the eggs are not yet hatched. This medication will eradicate threadworms and ease the symptoms at the same time stopping the spread within the household.
Pregnant or breastfeeding mothers infected with threadworms or have infected children will need to consult a doctor to get the proper and safe treatment which is usually different.
While doing the treatment and afterwards, proper adherence to strict hygiene measures is a must. Threadworms can spread easily without you realising it. Hygiene tips include regular vacuuming and cleaning up surfaces using antibacterial cleansers. Most importantly, wash your hands after your toilet breaks and before touching your face or your mouth.