Pinworm (Enterobius vermicularis) infections are extremely common. Occurring world wide, it is estimated that there are more than 40 million cases in the United States each year, making it the most common worm infection in America. Although any individual may develop a case of pinworms, the infection occurs most frequently in school children between 5 to 10 years of age. Pinworm infections occur in all socioeconomic groups; however, human-to-human spread is favored by close, crowded living conditions. Spread among family members is common. Animals do not harbor pinworms - humans are the only natural host for this parasite.
The most common symptom of pinworms is an itchy rectal area. Symptoms are worse at night when the female worms are most active and crawl out of the anus to deposit their eggs. Although pinworm infections can be annoying, they rarely cause serious health problems and are usually not dangerous. Therapy with routine prescription medications provides an effective cure in almost all cases.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/27/2014
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