Enterobiasis Follow-up

Updated: Apr 27, 2016
  • Author: Wayne Wolfram, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Follow-up

Inpatient & Outpatient Medications

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  • An antihelminthic medication should be prescribed to patients with enterobiasis .

  • Application of an antipruritic ointment or albendazole may help control scratching. [11]

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Deterrence/Prevention

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  • Thorough handwashing can deter transmission.

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Complications

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  • Beware of skin infection from vigorous scratching to relieve pruritus.

  • Pinworms have been associated with appendicitis, [13, 14] nocturnal vaginal discharge, [15] and inflammation of the female genital tract. [15] However, small and large intestine ulcerations, perianal abscesses, intestinal pain, transient synovitis, or enuresis is believed to be coincidental and not causal. [16]

  • If a patient with enterobiasis is refractory to treatment, consider the possibility of an infestation with Dipylidium caninum, which is a common tapeworm that infects domestic cats and dogs. [17]

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Prognosis

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  • Prognosis is excellent, but reinfestation is common.

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Patient Education

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  • Inform families that dogs and cats do not harbor E vermicularis.

  • Inform families that infestation may occur in spite of proper child and household hygiene.

  • Counsel families to avoid overreaction through aggressive sanitary measures. Because infectious eggs may be in bedclothes and dust and remain infectious for 20 days, wet-mopping floors or vacuuming carpets and washing bedclothes are prudent precautions.

  • Reassuring families that pinworms are not a sexually transmitted disease and are not evidence of child abuse may be helpful.

  • Keeping the patient's fingernails trimmed to prevent excoriations is helpful.

  • Avoid scratching the area and nail biting because this is a cause of autoinfection.

  • Encourage the patient to bathe in the morning, this significantly reduces the number of eggs.

  • Children may return to school once they have received a dose of medication, bathed, and have nails trimmed.

  • Bed linens should be washed in hot, soapy water.

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