Common health issue

Threadworm: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment.

threadworm

Threadworms, also known as pinworm. It is a tiny parasitic worm that infects the large intestine of humans. It is a common type of worm infection that affects children particularly under the age of 10. It is a small, thin, white, thread-like worms which size is about 2 mm and 13 mm long. You may notice them around your child’s bottom.

They don’t always cause symptoms but people often experience itchiness around their bottom or even in the vagina. It can be worse at night and it may also disturb sleep patterns.

Causes Of Threadworm

Threadworm infection is passed from one person to another person by swallowing the eggs of the threadworm.

A female threadworm is likely to lay thousands of tiny eggs around the anus. The female threadworm causes itchy at the bottom as it releases mucus. Scratching the anus or vagina, or wiping them after going to the toilet can cause the eggs to stick under your fingernails or it can also stick to your fingertips.

If you do not wash your hand properly, the eggs can be transferred into your mouth or onto food or objects such a toys and kitchen utensils. If someone else touches a contaminated object or even eats a portion of contaminated food and then touches their mouth, they will become infected by this.

After the egg has been swallowed by the person, they pass into a person’s intestine where they hatch. After the 2 weeks, the threadworms have grown into adults at which they will reproduce, and the cycle of infection that occurs by the threadworm will start again.

Symptoms Of Threadworm

Threadworms often go unnoticed by those who are affected by the threadworm.

However, they can cause intense itching around the anus and particularly in the vagina of the girls usually at night when the female worms are laying eggs. Most people experience sleep disturbance. Including this most people experience itching which is the common symptoms.

In some cases, you may spot threadworms on your clothes or bed sheets at night or you may even notice them in your stool. The worms look like a thread of white cotton and which is about 1 centimetre long.

Threadworm treatments

All household members, including adults and those without symptoms, should be treated as threadworm infection do not have any symptoms. However, they will still pass out eggs therefore there is a high chance of infecting other people. If one member of the house is infected then the possibilities of getting infected to another member are also common. So, everyone needs treatments to get rid of threadworm.

The common treatments are:

  • Take a threadworm medicine in order to kill the worms in your gut.
  • Hygiene measure to clear all the eggs which may be around your anus or in your home.

First, as a one-off aim to clear all the eggs from where they may be in your home or anus. This means

  • Wash sleepwear, bed linen, towels, and other toys. This can be done at normal temperatures as long as washing is well rinsed.
  • Vacuum and damp-dust your home regularly. Throw out the cloth after use and also pay particular attention to the bedrooms including vacuuming mattresses and where children mostly play.
  • Thoroughly clean the bathroom by damp dusting surfaces, and also wash the cloth frequently in hot water.
  • Avoid shaking any materials that may be contaminated with eggs, such as bedsheets which prevent the egg from transferring to the other surfaces.
  • Do not eat food in the bedroom as you may end up swallowing the eggs that have been shaken off from the bedclothes.
  • Keep your fingernail short and also encourage another member to do so.
  • Do not bite your nails and suck the fingers.
  • wash your hand frequently and scrub under your fingernails as it is very important to do this before eating and after going to the toilet.
  • Wear close-fitting underwear at night and also change your underwear every morning.
  • Keep toothbrushes in a closed cupboard and rinse them thoroughly before you use them.

Medication

Mebendazole/ Albendazole is the main medication used to treat threadworm infections. It can be bought over the counter from your local pharmacy or prescribed by your GP in which these drugs are available in a tablet form or in a liquid.

It works by preventing the threadworms from absorbing sugar, which means they should die within a few days. This drug is 90 to 100% effective at killing the threadworm however, it does not kill the eggs. Because of this, it is important to maintain your hygiene.