Most people have had or heard of Lice, a tiny insect infestation found on humans’ scalps. They are common among children and can spread quickly through direct contact. Pinworms, white parasites that live and breed in the large intestine, are a less familiar but just as common infestation.
According to UTMB Health, the earliest known evidence of pinworms was found in Utah of pinworm eggs carbon dated to 7837 BC. Lice have been around for a long time, with genetic studies showing humans and lice having a relationship over 1.68 million years. The oldest physical evidence is a lice nit found on the hair of a 10,000-year-old body.
While pinworms and lice historically started a long time ago, pinworms infect about 40 million people a year in the United States, with children being the most at risk for contracting pinworms. They get pinworms by ingesting eggs that someone with pinworms has shed. These pinworms can survive indoors on clothing and bedding for two to three weeks. Kids get them from other infected kids in crowded situations like preschool, summer camp, or on the same surfaces.
Keep pinworms in your past by washing your hands regularly and using Reese’s Pinworm Medicine when needed.