Intestinal parasite (nematode)
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:
Pinworm is a common intestinal infection that often causes no symptoms. There may be anal itching, disturbed sleep, irritability and sometimes a secondary infection of the scratched skin. Worms are most likely to be seen in anal region while sleeping or immediately after waking in the morning.
Time from contact until the development of signs and symptoms. Life cycle of parasite is 4 to 6 weeks. Signs and symptoms may not be evident for months.
MODE OF TRANSMISSION:
Direct transfer of eggs by hand from anus to mouth and swallowed by the same or new host, or indirectly through clothing, bedding, and food or other articles contaminated with eggs of the parasite. Airborne eggs may be inhaled then swallowed.
Use of Universal/Standard Precautions including education on proper hand washing, toileting, personal hygiene, discourage scratching bare anal area and nail biting.
PERIOD OF COMMUNICABILITY:
Usually about two weeks
IMPLICATIONS FOR SCHOOL:
Suspected cases should be referred to parents. Unless symptoms are severe, immediate exclusion is not necessary. Emphasize good hygiene. Students are required to have a doctor’s note to return to school.