News

Pinworms reported at Child Development Center 2

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. --

On Feb. 2, the Child Development Center 2 on base, reported to the 55th Medical Group they have had several children with pinworms.

In response to the notification, the 55th MDG’s Pediatric and Public Health Clinic are working closely with the CDC 2 to ensure proper treatment of the children infected and are also providing educational material to the families of the children who have been potentially exposed.

“The well-being of the service member’s children at the [Child Development Center] is our main priority,” said Rosalyn Johnson, 55th Force Support Squadron Child and Youth Services flight chief.  “We want to ensure parents that we will continue to work diligently to keep their children safe and healthy while they are in our care, it is of the utmost importance to us.”

“Part of what we do is working with the 55th Medical Group and 55th Wing Public Affairs to get the word out about what the issue is and what can be done,” she added.

The pinworm is a small, thin, white roundworm that sometimes lives in the colon and rectum of humans. Pinworms are about the length of a staple. While an infected person sleeps, female pinworms leave the intestine through the anus and deposit their eggs on the surrounding skin.

Pinworm infection causes itching which can lead to difficulty sleeping and restlessness. Symptoms of pinworm infection are usually mild and some infected people have no symptoms.

Pinworm infections can spread by the fecal-oral route, that is by the transfer of infective pinworm eggs from the anus to someone’s mouth, either directly by hand or indirectly through contaminated clothing, bedding, food or other articles.

Pinworm infection occurs worldwide and affects persons of all ages. It is the most common worm infection in the U.S. Pinworm infection occurs most commonly among school-aged and preschool-aged children and household members and caretakers of persons with pinworm infection

“Pinworm can be treated with either a prescription or over-the-counter medications,” said Master Sgt. Mary Anne Viloria, 55th MDG Public Health flight chief. “A health care provider should be consulted before treating a suspected case of pinworm infection.”

“I would like to encourage everyone who has symptoms or questions about pinworms call (402) 232-CARE or their local public health office,” she added.

All household contacts and caretakers of an infected person should be treated at the same time. Reinfection can occur easily so strict observance of good hand hygiene is essential.

A good way to prevent pinworms is to bathe every morning and change underwear on a daily basis. This will help remove a large proportion of eggs. Showering may be preferred to avoid possible contamination of bath water.  Clothing and bedding items should be laundered in hot water, especially after each treatment of the infected person and after each usage of washcloths until infection is cleared.

Hand hygiene is also an important method of prevention. Trimming and scrubbing the fingernails and bathing after treatment is important to help prevent infection or reinfection of pinworms.

If you have any questions or concerns in regards to pinworms, contact the 55th MDG's Public Health Office at 402-294-8009 or you may call the nurse advice line at 232-CARE(2273).

For more information click on the link: https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/pinworm/gen_info/faqs.html