Infection with Enterobius vermicularis, the threadworm (or pinworm as it is known in the USA). It is the most common of all the intestinal parasites in Britain, and the least harmful. The male is about 6 mm (••• inch) in length and the female about 12 mm (••• inch) in length. Each resembles a little piece of thread. These worms live in considerable numbers in the lower bowel, aﬀecting children particularly. They usually cause no symptoms but can result in great irritation round the anus or within the female genitalia, especially at night when the female worm emerges from the anus to lay its eggs and then die. The most eﬀective form of treatment is either viprynium embonate or piperazine citrate, which needs to be taken by the whole family. Bedclothes must then be laundered.
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