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Threadworms

It?s Easy to Treat Threadworms

So hands up how many of us are scared of earthworms?  Isn?t it funny that a lot of us are scared of such harmless little creatures ? probably because they look yucky!  Well it isn?t surprising then that most people feel the same way about threadworms.

Threadworms are a fairly common infection but it doesn?t mean that just because you or your children have it, that you are dirty or unclean.  It is not a sign of bad parenting either.  Threadworms are an easily treated infection.

Infections tend to occur more commonly in children because they play and come in contact with each other more often.  For example, a child simply needs to scratch his or her bottom, which has been irritated by threadworms, to catch some eggs under their fingernails.  Then when the child touches his or her mouth or food, the threadworm is reintroduced into the gut of the body and the life cycle continues.

Threadworms are easily passed from person to person by sharing things such as food, clothes and utensils.

Threadworms - also known as pinworms - can be picked up from other people in the home, at school or at kindergarten.  However threadworms can not be spread from animals to humans.  Animals may be infected by other types of worms but transfer to humans of these worms is very rare because of the high standard of hygiene in New Zealand.

Threadworms look like short pieces of white cotton, about 5 to 10 mm long.  When you swallow the eggs, they hatch in the gut.  Within a few weeks, the female adult worms move down the gut to the anus where they lay thousands of tiny eggs, usually at night when you are asleep.  The irritating itch that enables you to detect their presence, is caused by the "glue" the worms use to stick their eggs to the anus.

However you or your children may not even know you have threadworms as some people only have minor symptoms.  If there is itchiness around the anus, especially at night when the female comes out to lay her eggs, and if you or your child are losing sleep or feel irritable, it may be a sign of threadworms.

Threadworms are easy to treat with medicines.  ?Everyone in the house can be treated with a single dose,? say Self Care pharmacists.  Threadworms are very contagious, so when one member of the house gets them, it is likely the rest of the household will get them.  This is why the whole household should be given the medicine at the same time.  ?Check with us or your doctor which threadworm medicine is safe to take for children under two years old and for pregnant women,? caution Self Care pharmacists.

If you have some questions or need treatments for threadworms please contact us

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