Enterobiasis is the medical condition of being infected with pinworms (Enterobius vermicularis). The symptoms are painful itching around the anus, restless sleep, a poor appetite, and a failure to gain weight. more...
The itching will often lead to re-infection as the eggs are captured under the fingernails, and eventually reintroduced orally. The eggs can also be spread by air and other mechanisms eventually leading to oral introduction into the victim.
The condition can be treated with mebendazole (Vermox), piperazine (Antepar), or mostly commonly pyrantel pamoate (Combatrin, Povan). Also great care should be taken to shower daily, and wash hands before every meal to avoid re-infection. All infected materials (pyjamas, bedclothes, and underwear) should be washed with soap and hot water daily. Taking a second dose of medication two weeks after the first will usually kill any pinworms that might have hatched in the meantime, before they are able to produce new eggs.
The pinworm occurs worldwide, and in all socio-economic groups. However, it is more common in temperate regions, and among those with poor hygiene. That doesn't mean people with good hygiene can't get infected, however. 500 million infections are reported annually worldwide. 50% of children become infected at some point.
Some physicians also believe that pinworms can cause appendicitis, but that is unsubstantiated.
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