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May 1988

Is Pinworm a Vanishing Infection?Laboratory Surveillance in a New York City Medical Center From 1971 to 1986

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Epidemiology and Social Medicine and Pediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, NY (Dr Vermund), and the Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, New York (Dr Vermund and Ms MacLeod).

Am J Dis Child. 1988;142(5):566-568. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1988.02150050104044

• Records of our parasitology laboratory were reviewed to determine trends in the frequency of specimens submitted for diagnosis of pinworm infection, the proportion of such specimens that were positive, and the proportion of such positive results for the pediatric age group from 1971 to 1986 in a major New York City medical center. These data demonstrate a markedly declining trend in the absolute number of sticky tape tests sent for pinworm diagnosis, from 248 in 1971 to 38 in 1986, an average of 8% decline per year. The number of specimens identifying Enterobius vermicularis among those submitted has similarly declined, from 57 in 1971 to none being positive in 1986, an average of 16% decline per year. The dramatic decline in pinworm identification and the fall in the number of specimens sent by practitioners at this medical center, and reported elsewhere in the United States by other investigators, may reflect a genuine decline in oxyuriasis occurring in the patient populations served.

(AJDC 1988;142:566-568)

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