If you find a worm in the latrine, whether the facility is located in a restaurant or an office building, chances are the parasite passed through someone’s body and into the water. It would be very difficult for a worm to live and reproduce in the water supply. They require certain conditions to thrive and pure water is simply not enough to keep them alive.
Most worms live in the dirt near the surface or deep beneath the earth’s surface. While worms do need moisture to keep their bodies from drying out, the moisture from the earth is more than enough to keep their bodies damp. Worms eat dead grass, leaves, bacteria, fungi, and algae, and if they live deep underground, their diet will consist primarily of raw dirt. The types of worms that can infect the human body are quite different, however. They do not feed off organic materials from the earth, but rather the contents of human intestines.
The most common type of human parasite is the threadworm or the “pinworm.” The threadworm is white in color, but it could easily appear brown or reddish after passing through the human intestines. While the threadworm is found mostly in children, it can infect adults as well. Especially if they come in contact with a child that has been infected.
Infection occurs when a female worm lays eggs on the persons skin, usually around the anus. Eggs can also be found in dust and they can survive there for weeks. The dust can be inhaled fairly easily, which may lead to infection. This is common in childcare institutions. Once a person is infected with threadworms, the infection may be spread through bathroom facilities, through shaking hands, playing or pretty much any type of physical contact.
Threadworms cause the infected person to scratch the area around the anus for relief. The eggs can end up under the fingernails. If the infected person neglects to wash his or hands thoroughly, the eggs can easily pass from person to person with even the slightest touch.
Threadworms are roughly 1cm in length. Full-grown threadworms can be found hanging out of the infected persons anus or they can be found in the infected persons stool. While having threadworms may sound like a horrible infection, it’s not. True, it is uncomfortable for most people, but it is very easy to treat. There are several antibiotics that may be purchased over-the-counter from any pharmacy. These include: mebendazole and piperazine. The antibiotics can be taken in a single dose to kill the infection. All other members of the household should be treated with antibiotics as well, even if there are no symptoms.
To prevent re-infection, it’s best to disinfect the bathroom with cleaning agents and hot water. This means that the toilet, sinks and even the bathtub and shower should be disinfected. You should wash all clothes, underpants, and linens in hot water and detergent as well. If you want to be 100% sure that the threadworms won’t return, you may want to dispose of anything that you think may be infected. In addition, it is imperative that no matter what, you wash your hands several times a day, especially after using the restroom – even in your own home.
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