A pinworm is a type of parasite that lives in the lower digestive system of humans. Pinworms survive by getting nutrients from the food you eat. You are most likely to get pinworms by swallowing their eggs. This happens when someone with pinworms scratches around the anus, gets eggs on his or her hands (or under the fingernails), and touches you or an object that you later touch.
Many people feel embarrassed about having "worms." Pinworm infections can happen to anyone, are spread very easily, and are not related to being unclean. They are especially common in children. They are also easily treated.
If you or someone in your family has pinworms that keep coming back, or if more than one family member is infected, every member of your family or household should be treated.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: May 12, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & John Pope, MD, MPH - Pediatrics
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