Pinworm or seatworms are small white worms about a quarter of an inch in lenght. Unline many others worm infections, this one is not limited to the rural areas, but is also found in cities and among all classes of people. Children are the most common infected, but adults of all ages can also have the disease. The adult worm inhabit the upper part of the colon, feeding on the intestinal contents.
Mature female worms store the eggs in their bodies and then migrate out through the colon and rectum to the skin into which they tunnel and lay large numbers of eggs. These eggs cause intense itching, making the patient scratch vigorously in the area around the rectum, so that many of the eggs are picked up on the fingers and under the nails. From there they are trasnferred to the mouth and swallowed. They then migrate down to the lower bowel, and thus the cycle continues.
Pinworm eggs are frequently found beneath the fingernails of infected children. Some pinworm eggs may even be blown about in dust or transferred to food from contaminated hands. Pinworm eggs have been recovered from tables, chairs, shelves, window sills, toilet seats, wash basins, bathubs, bed sheets and mattresses. All of this means that if one member of the family is infected all the others should be treated as well, for this infection may rapidly spread through whole families or groupd living in the same environment.
Some people have slight infections of pinworms without any noticeable symptoms.Others complain of severe itching around the anal areas, and still others note a poor appetite, loss of weight, bedwetting, sleeplesness, irratibility, grinding of the teeth, nausea, vomiting, and even appendicitis in some cases. Pinworm will sometimes migrate into the vagina and produce intense inflammation in the female organs. In young children they may cause convulsion. Mothers often notice the white worms on the outside of the freshly passed stool of a child, or even crawling around the anal region of the baby after he has been put to bed.
Treat all members of the house-hold at the same time. Piperazine is the most effective agent against pinworm infestation. It should be taken a half hour before breakfast followed by a glass of water. Thsi should be continued for seven days in succession. For your children the dose is a half teaspoon of piperazine citrate syrup. Those from two to six years of age, one teaspoon; from six to twelve, four teaspoons daily for seven days. If the patient cannot take piperazine or is allergic to the drug, give genetian violet enteric-coated tablets daily for ten days, the dose being one-grain tablet for three times a day. A new medication, Povan (pyrvinium pamoate), maybe given in single dose (one teaspoonful for each 22 pounds of body weight). Repeast dosage in seven days if necessary.
Poor personal hygiene plays an important part in this disease. Teach the child to wash his hands thoroughly after the toilet and before meals. Through bathing of the whole body dailly will help prevent infection. Boil underclothes and beed sheets everday, or atleast two to three times a week. Keep the child’s nail trimmed short to prevent further infection. Scrub all his toys thoroughly with soap and water, and keep him clean. This will protect other members of the family and the community.