What is Enterobiasis?

Enterobiasis is a human parasitic infection caused by the pinworm, Enterobius vermicularis. It is the most common parasitic infection worldwide and affects most commonly young children between the ages of 5 and 10. It is contagious and can be spread between humans through contact, mainly when an infected person transfers the eggs to their hands and then contaminates an object or another person.

Symptoms of Enterobiasis

The primary symptom of enterobiasis is intense itching in the anal area caused by the presence of the worms in the region. Other symptoms can include:

  • Sleep disturbances, such as restless sleep or nightmares
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty gaining weight

Diagnosis of Enterobiasis

Enterobiasis is usually diagnosed based on the presence of its symptoms. The diagnosis can be confirmed by doing a tape test where an adhesive strip of paper is placed against the skin patients anal area and then examined under a microscope. The test will reveal the presence of the small white worms or eggs.

Treatment for Enterobiasis

Enterobiasis is easy to treat. The most common treatment is a single dose of mebendazole, a drug that kills the parasite. It can also be treated with other medications such as albendazole or pyrantel pamoate. After a single dose, the worms are usually gone and symptoms may improve within 2-3 days.

Prevention of Enterobiasis

The best way to prevent enterobiasis is to practice good hygiene. People should always wash their hands thoroughly after going to the bathroom, changing diapers or cleaning up a child’s stool. Keeping fingernails short can also help to prevent the spread of pinworms. In addition, it is important to keep living and sleeping areas free from particles that could contain eggs, such as sheets, pajamas, and blankets.