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Mawworms: Unwanted Roommates in the Intestine

Intestinal parasite: Symptoms & Causes of Worms in humans

Intestinal parasite: Symptoms & Causes of Worms in humans

It is the most common parasitic infestation worldwide and occurs also in our climatic zone: the oxyuriase, also called Madenwurmbefall. The tiny parasites live in the human intestine and lay their eggs at the anus. The resulting itching is often the only sign of the safe infection. Learn more about the parasite and how to get rid of it. 

The idea is likely to choke many people’s shivers down their spine: Tiny worms enter the organism through the mouth and multiply in the intestine. But this is exactly the case with an attack with worms. Children and adolescents are often affected. Among the adults, women suffer more from infestation than men.

Oxyuriasis occurs in all social strata – a lack of hygiene can however support the spread of parasitosis. The worms enter the body via the oral route. It is enough to touch a contaminated object and then touch the mouth. The direct transmission from person to person is also possible. During sexual contacts the eggs can also be transferred.

Mawworms cause itching

The parasite – a worm named Enterobius vermicularis – lives exclusively in the human intestine. He has no intermediary and does not appear in other creatures. The parasites are between 0.5 to 1.3 centimeters in size, optically resembling a thread and the eggs can not be seen with the naked eye. The males and females mate in the damp warmed milieu. The female then moves in the direction of the anus, places her eggs at night in the skin folds around the body opening and dies afterwards. The procedure causes an intolerable itching.

The itching in the anal region is usually the only symptom for parasitic infestation. By scratching the deposited eggs reach the hands and under the fingernails. Especially in infants and small children, a new infection occurs when the hands are put into the mouth. This process is also called autoinfection. Outside the intestine the eggs are survivable for up to three weeks. If they come back into an organism, the eggs mature within a few days to grown worms and the cycle begins again.

Diagnosis of worm infections: GP as contact person

If an itching at the anus is observed during the night hours, a doctor must be consulted. Since the worms are highly infectious, many people can be infected without a treatment and the parasitosis spread. The doctor recommends a remedy that kills all live parasites when taken once. These are excreted over the faeces.

However, since the agents do not act against the eggs of the maggots, the treatment must be repeated after 14 and, if necessary, after 28 days. It is also advisable to treat all persons living in a household at the same time, since otherwise a ping-pong effect with the parasites can occur.

Hygiene prevents spread of the eggs

Good hygiene also prevents the risk of contamination. This includes washing your hands thoroughly after each toilet run. In addition, the hands (and also the fingernails) should be thoroughly cleaned before preparing a meal and the food itself. Whoever regularly cleans his toilet can kill potentially occurring pathogens there.

Since the eggs of the mawworms also survive for a few days in laundry and bed linen, the laundry should be changed daily and washed at least 60 degrees Celsius. With special disinfectants from the pharmacy, mattresses and upholstery furniture can be cleaned. Through the shaking of bed linen the eggs can get into the house dust and over the airways into the organism. Therefore, a respiratory protection should be worn in order to definitely prevent a new infection. Especially in children it is difficult to dissuade them from scratching. Therefore, it is advisable to wear tight underwear at night so that the eggs do not reach the hands or the surrounding skin regions.

Possible complications: Inflammation in the abdomen

Since the human body used to be frequently contaminated with parasites, it is able to keep the infestation as small as possible. Statistically, every second human being falls ill with this parasitosis. Several hundred million cases are reported worldwide every year. The immune system responds to the intruder, without the need for symptoms. If the worms remain undetected for an extended period of time, complications can occur. It is unlikely, however, if the eggs enter other body regions, infections may occur.

In women, the eggs can enter the vagina and lead there to a vaginosis. In addition, uterus or ovaries may be affected. In addition, the parasitians are suspected of being able to cause appendicitis. In inflamed worm trophies, eggs of worm worms could always be detected. In addition to physical complications, there may also be a strain on the psyche. The person concerned begins to feel disgusted with himself. Such symptoms should never be concealed from the doctor. Even in psychological problem the patient can be helped.

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