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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 advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) 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 advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
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Current as of: October 31, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & John Pope MD - Pediatrics
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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