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Oxyuriasis, also known as oxyurosis and enterobiosis, is a worm caused by the parasite Enterobius vermicularis, popularly known as oxyurus, which can be transmitted through contact with contaminated surfaces, ingestion of food contaminated with eggs or inhalation of eggs. eggs dispersed in the air, as they are quite light.
The eggs in the organism hatch in the intestine, undergo a process of differentiation, maturation and reproduction. At night, females move to the perianal region, where they lay their eggs. This displacement of the female is what leads to the appearance of the characteristic symptom of oxyuriasis, which is intense itching in the anus.
Learn more about oxyuriasis and other common worms:
How the transmission happens
The transmission of pinworm happens through the ingestion of the eggs of this parasite through contaminated food or by putting a dirty hand in the mouth, being more frequent in children between 5 and 14 years old. In addition, it is possible to be contaminated through the inhalation of eggs that can be found dispersed in the air, since they are quite light, and contact with contaminated surfaces, such as clothes, curtains, sheets and rugs.
It is also possible that there is self-infection, being more common in babies who wear diapers. That's because if the baby is infected, after pooping, he can touch the dirty diaper and put his hand in his mouth, getting infected again.
The most common symptom of enterobiosis is itching in the anus, especially at night, as this is the period when the parasite moves to the anus. In addition to anal itching, which is often intense and interferes with sleep, other symptoms may appear if there is a large amount of parasites, the main ones being:
- Tummy pain;
- Intestinal colic;
- There may be blood in the stool.
To diagnose the presence of the worm of this infection, it is necessary to collect material from the anus, as the common stool exam is not useful to detect the worm. The collection of material is usually done with adhesive cellophane tape, a method known as gummed tape, which is requested by the doctor.
Know how to recognize the symptoms of pinworms.
How the treatment is done
Treatment for enterobiosis is guided by the doctor, who prescribes anthelmintic drugs such as Albendazole or Mebendazole, used in a single dose to eliminate the worms and eggs that infect the body. It is still possible to apply an anthelmintic ointment in the anus, such as thiabendazole for 5 days, which helps to potentiate the effect of the medicine.
Another option is Nitazoxanide, which targets yet another large number of intestinal parasites, and is used for 3 days. Regardless of the medication used, it is recommended that the test be performed again, to check for signs of infection and, if so, to carry out the treatment again. Understand how enterobiosis is treated.
How to prevent enterobiosis
To prevent enterobiosis infection, it is necessary to take simple precautions, such as having good hygiene habits, cutting children's nails, avoiding nail biting, as well as boiling the clothes of infected people to prevent their eggs from contaminating others people, as they can stay up to 3 weeks in the environment and can be transmitted to other people.
It is also important to wash your hands whenever you prepare food, and after using the toilet. In this way, in addition to enterobiosis, several other infections by worms, amoebas and bacteria can be avoided. Learn about other ways to prevent enterobiosis.