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Small, filiform, these intestinal worms often cause itching - and very unpleasant - during the night. To be treated under pain of recidivism. The explanations and advice of Dr. Pierre-Henri Benhamou, pediatric gastroenterologist.
What do pinworms look like?
- They are tiny, very fine white worms, half to one centimeter long, quite similar to maggots, which live in the small intestine at its terminal part. At nightfall, the fertilized female descends along the large intestine (colon), migrates outside the anus and comes to lay eggs in the folds of the skin.
- Their presence is often detected by the mother who sees worms in the anal area of the child or on the surface of his stool.
What are the most characteristic symptoms?
- Many children experience severe itching in the area of the anus or vagina, where the eggs are deposited. Others have trouble sleeping or have nightmares.
- More rarely, small pinworm carriers may be subject to digestive disorders (irregular stools, bloated stomach, diarrhea).
- Conversely, some children with Oxyurose will not present any symptoms and will be comfortable with the presence of the parasite.
- To find out if your toddler is really infested, your pediatrician will tell you a simple test: the scotch-test. Place a piece of tape on your child's anus and have it examined by the testing laboratory. If eggs are present, they will remain stuck on the ribbon and will be easily detected. This examination is, of course, to practice at a distance from the stool emission and without prior toilet.
How is the contamination done?
- The child can get infected by contact with a small infested friend, through clothing, sheets or other objects on which have been deposited eggs pinworm.
- Oxyurose is very easily transmitted. Absorbed through the nose or mouth, the eggs penetrate inside the body and will hatch in the intestine. The larvae reach adulthood after two to three weeks. After fertilization, the females migrate to the rectum where they lay their eggs.