Are you wondering how pinworm infection spreads? We’re here to make sure you know the facts, starting with the understanding that pinworm infection can happen to anyone and is easily treatable with over-the-counter pinworm medicine.
How is it that anyone can find themselves with a pinworm infection? Because of the way pinworms spread. Pinworms are three times more common than head lice and typically spread in institutional settings (think daycares, schools, etc.). Of course, because they are so contagious, it is also common for parents, family members, and faculty to face pinworm infection.
Pinworms typically spread by the ingestion of microscopic pinworm eggs.
These eggs can be found on a variety of surfaces in your home or at school. After they are ingested, the eggs travel through the body to the intestines. This is where they hatch, with the female pinworms later migrating to the rectum to lay new eggs.
One of the most common symptoms of a pinworm infection is an itchy behind. When the itch is scratched, pinworm eggs can be transferred to the hands and beneath the fingernails, resulting in the spread of pinworm eggs – potentially to any surfaces later touched.
According to the CDC, pinworm eggs can survive up to 3 weeks on indoor surfaces, making it incredibly important to clean your home following a pinworm infection.
Once a family member has a pinworm infection, it is likely for pinworm eggs to contaminate surfaces throughout the home – especially in bedrooms and bathrooms. We recommend washing bed linens and pajamas, as well as wiping down all bathroom surfaces including the toilet and fixtures. For more advice on cleaning your home after a pinworm infection, read our blog post titled ‘How Do You Get Rid of Pinworms in Your Home?’