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October 1969

Reinfection in Enterobiasis (Pinworm Infection): Simultaneous Treatment of Family Members

Am J Dis Child. 1969;118(4):576-581. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1969.02100040578007

ENTEROBIASIS (pinworm infection) continues to be highly prevalent in spite of the availability of effective chemotherapeutic agents. Control measures continue to be frustrated by the parasite's efficient modes of transmission by fingers, fomites, and inhalation of eggs from the environment. Stringent hygienic measures are widely recommended as a method of interrupting transmission; however, this approach can disrupt family life and reinforce the frequent adverse psychological reactions to the presence of the infection in the household. Considerable doubt has been cast on the efficacy of sanitary measures by Sawitz and co-workers,1 who demonstrated an increase in infection following a six-week period of vigorous sanitation in a carefully controlled environment.

Treating all family members simultaneously for pinworm infection has been accepted as a possible way of interrupting transmission within the family. Turner and Johnson2 suggested simultaneous treatment of the entire family with pyrvinium pamoate (Povan) using a schedule of three