When threadworm eggs are swallowed, they hatch in the gut and within two-four weeks , the adult worm moves down towards the anus where they lay many thousands of eggs. Those infected will pass out eggs which can then infect other family members and hence all household members should be treated. Threadworms cannot be picked up from animals but they do carry other worm types.
If you suspect your child has threadworms but cannot see them in the faeces, try examining the area around the child’s anus with a torch when the child has gone to sleep ( eggs are laid at night ) and you may see one or two worms coming out. Your doctor can do a sticky tape test to confirm the presence or otherwise.
- Treatments come in both tablet and liquid varieties
- All members of a household should be treated at the same time
- A single dose treatment (repeated after 14 days ) is usually all that is required.
Are you pregnant or breastfeeding?
- If you are in the first trimester of pregnancy or breastfeeding, you should not take medicines which kill worms
- Simple hygiene measures may work instead because the worms die naturally after six weeks and provided you are careful regarding swallowing further eggs, you will become clear of worms as the life cycle has been broken over this time.
- Wash all sleepwear, bed linen, towels, cloth toys etc
- Vacuum and damp dust the home, particularly in bedrooms and on mattresses
- Use disposable cloths when damp dusting
- Wash your hands regularly when caring for children infected
- Keep fingernails short and clean and discourage nail biting and thumb-sucking
- Have a thorough shower at night and again in the morning to remove eggs laid during the night
- Ideally change and wash nightwear on a daily basis.