Enterobiosis is a helminthic disease (helminthiasis) caused by round parasitic worms, pinworms.
Enterobiasis is the most common helminthiasis in the world. Pinworms are especially common in children’s groups (groups of kindergartens, elementary grades of school), which is associated with the transmission mechanism and the life cycle of worms.
Pinworms are small parasites 5-10 mm in size, often white in color. Adult worms live in the caecum, appendix and other parts of the large intestine. At night, females crawl out of the anus onto the skin of the perianal area and lay eggs and die. This process is accompanied by severe itching in the perineum, a burning sensation.
Small children scratch the itchy place, as a result of which the eggs of parasites fall under the nails, then spread with toys and other objects. Thus, the mechanism of transmission of helminthiasis is fecal-oral, through dirty hands, toys, personal hygiene items, underwear and bedding, which may be contaminated with parasite eggs. Adults can also become infected from children.
Symptoms of enterobiasis
Like any helminthiasis, enterobiasis can manifest itself with common symptoms: weight loss, with preserved appetite, increased fatigue, itching, nervousness. Dyspeptic disorders often develop: bloating and pain in the abdomen along the intestines, unstable stools.
In girls and women, pinworms can enter the genitals, causing vaginitis, a violation of the microflora, contributing to the development of thrush.
Since the peak of pinworm activity occurs at night, sleep is disturbed in young children: they become restless, fall asleep badly, act up in their sleep, rush around the bed, comb the genitals and the anus.
Read more: Treatment and prevention
Diagnosis and treatment of enterobiasis
For diagnosis, scrapings or washings from the skin of the anus are used. Microscopic examination reveals eggs, sometimes other life forms of pinworms.
With massive infection, adult parasites can be found in the discharge of the intestine or on the skin of the perineum.
For treatment, various antihelminthic drugs are used in an age-appropriate dosage, the drug should be prescribed by a doctor. Usually a single dose of the medicine is enough, sometimes you have to repeat the course of treatment after two weeks. The prognosis of treatment is favorable, but there are frequent cases of re-infection if hygiene rules are not followed.
Prevention of enterobiasis
Prevention is to thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water after using the toilet and before eating. In children, attempts to comb the skin of the perianal area, games with the genitals should be stopped. For babies, it is mandatory to wear panties with tight elastic bands around the legs.
In case of illness, all family members should be treated. Bed and underwear should be washed in hot water and ironed on both sides to destroy parasite eggs that may have fallen on the fabric. Washable toys are treated with soap and water, soft – washed and dried in the sun.