Threadworms are the most common type of worms to affect humans in Australia, particularly in children. The worms are passed between people if the eggs are swallowed or inhaled, which is why they are most prevalent in children, due to close contact with other children. The eggs then hatch, and the females move to the anus where they lay eggs, causing irritation and itching around the anus; especially at night as this is when they are most active. Other symptoms include irritability, restless sleep, bedwetting and abdominal pain, also nausea and vomiting in severe infestations.
The eggs are spread when the infested person scratches their anus, causing the eggs to stick to their fingers, or when sheets or towels are shared with an infected person. Medication is available in the pharmacy to treat existing worm infestations; however, they are not suitable as routine prevention.
Did you know that worms can live for up to 2 weeks on any surface? Therefore, it is important that when treating a worm infestation, all underwear, pyjamas, sheets and towels of the infected person should be washed daily in hot water. Hand hygiene, such as washing before eating and discouraging finger sucking or nail biting, is also important to prevent the spread of worms and prevent reinfestation. For more information, come in and see to our friendly staff.
The team at The Friendlies Chemist are the authors of this news feed.