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Health Tip: Reduce the Risk of Pinworm Infection

-- Pinworm is the most common worm infection in the United States, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms.

It can affect people of any age or socioeconomic status, although it most commonly affects school-age children, the CDC says.

Most often, the infection is acquired by putting the fingers in the mouth after touching a contaminated surface. Humans are the only known host of pinworms, which the CDC says cannot be acquired from pets.

Here are the CDC's suggestions to reduce the risk of pinworm infection:

  • Wash hands well and often with soap and water, especially before touching food, after using the toilet, and after diaper changes.
  • Make sure fingernails are trimmed short and kept clean.
  • Don't bite fingernails.
  • Avoid scratching near the anus.
  • Give children a daily bath or shower and change underwear daily.
  • Wash all clothing, linens and undergarments regularly in hot water.
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Posted: December 2010