The causes of infection with pinworms
Both an adult and a child can become infected with parasites. Children staying in large clusters, e.g. those attending nurseries or kindergartens, are particularly vulnerable. Therefore, in their case, it is very important to strictly adhere to the rules of hygiene.
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1. Life cycle of pinworm
After fertilization, females migrate (most often in the evening and at night) towards the anus of the host, and then go outside, where they lay their eggs. Within 12–24 hours, the eggs develop larvae which can survive for a very long time in this state. The eggs are transferred into the mouth on the hands of the baby. They go to the duodenum, which is the first fragment of the small intestine. There they hatch from the egg and mature, then pass to the large intestine.
2. Causes of infection
Pinworm eggs can be caught in several ways. One of them is the lack of sufficient hygiene. Parasite eggs are transmitted mainly on the hands, under the nails. Therefore, it is very important to wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water.
Another way for eggs to get into your body is by inhaling them. Pinworm eggs that get onto bedding, hands, and then furniture, toys, and carpets become lighter than air. So every movement, sneeze, light wind causes the eggs to float with the dust and they can get into the respiratory system, and then they are swallowed and the life cycle of the pinworm begins anew in the human body.
Pinworm eggs are very light, so they can float in the air. When breathing, a person sucks them in with air. Scrupulous cleaning is important if we suspect someone in our family may have pinworm. All surfaces should be washed with warm water, curtains, plush toys should be washed, and linen and bedding should be additionally ironed after each washing.
However, the main cause of infection with pinworms is self-infection. Females coming out of the anus and crawling around it make the skin itchy. It itches so much that it's hard not to scratch it. The eggs are carried under the fingernails and then placed in the mouth. Pinworm infection is very difficult to treat for this very reason. Once infected, the host becomes infected afterwards.
Sometimes females, instead of traveling towards the anus, move up the large intestine, reaching the cecum. They lay their eggs there and the cycle starts all over again.
Pinworms can be infected not only from children attending nurseries or kindergartens. Eggs can be on towels or bed linen, which are not washed too often. The use of hotel towels also can lead to the acquisition of these unpleasant guests. That is why it is worth choosing places where you scrupulously care for cleanliness.
Children are especially at risk of getting infected with pinworms. This is due to difficulties in maintaining proper hygiene, thumb sucking or nail biting. Parasite eggs are most often carried under them. It is difficult for little ones to explain and watch over them so that they do not scratch themselves at night and wash their hands often.
Oatworm is very difficult to cure precisely because of the many pathways of possible infection. Due to the high viability of the eggs and their resistance to external conditions, secondary infection may occur even after the end of treatment.