Pinworm infections affect about 200 million people across the world, including about 40 million people in the United States and Canada. School children are most at risk for these infections and in crowded conditions.
Enterobiasis is most common in cosmopolitan areas in cool and temperate regions. Pinworms are often seen in children, with prevalence rates having been reported as high as 61% in India, 50% in England, 39% in Thailand, 37% in Sweden and 29% in Denmark.
Pinworms are common among people living in close contact and tends to occur in all people within a household. The prevalence of a threadworm is not associated with gender nor with any particular social class, race or culture.
The general prevalence of pinworm infection may be as high as 12%. Egg carrier rates vary by country, from 0.1-98.4%.
In adults, pinworm infection is most common in parents aged 30-39 years, typically because of transmission from their children aged 5-9 years.
Pinworms are the most common worm infection in America. Although any individual may develop a case of pinworms, the infection occurs most frequently in school children between 5 to 10 years of age. Cases of pinworm infection are seen most often at schools, daycare centers and other institutional settings. Pinworm infections occur in all socioeconomic groups; however, human-to-human spread is favored by close, crowded living conditions. Spread among family members is common. Animals do not harbor pinworms. Humans are the only natural host for this parasite.
Pinworm infections rarely cause serious health problems. Medication provides an effective cure in almost all cases.
Pinworm infection is treatable with over-the-counter or prescription medication, but reinfection, which occurs easily, should be prevented. You acquire a pinworm infection by accidentally swallowing pinworm eggs. The microscopic eggs can be carried to your mouth by contaminated food, drink or fingers. Once swallowed, the eggs hatch in the intestines and mature into adult worms within a few weeks.