It seemed like just another morning at the Topeka children hospital, but Dr. Stephen Odzer did not know what was in store for him. That was going to be one of the busiest days ever because the school nearby had a minor outbreak. Kids were starting to feel sick, and one by one, they left the classes to avoid putting others at risks. In some cases, healthy kids would be kept home, with their parents worrying about their wellness as well.
Being a pediatrician, Dr. Stephen Odzer was one of the first people at the hospital who had the chance to take a look at the kids. Little John Timothy, came to the visiting room, accompanied by his apprehensive mom and dad. The little kid seemed exhausted. The parents told the doctor that he had been sleepless for quite a while, itching his lower back and experiencing skin rashes and irritation.
Other kids came in, showcasing similar symptoms: restlessness, and constant itching, particularly around their buttocks! Doctor Odzer didn’t take long to figure out what was going down. The school probably had been a source of pinworm infection!
Pinworms are among the most common parasites in many countries, and in the United States especially, they’re known to infect children in particular. Pinworm eggs are incredibly small, and in places such as schools, they can easily be found on toilets or even sinks. A kid must have started the spread of the contamination by itching an infected area. Shaking hands, handling food at the cafeteria, using the toilet, not washing hands properly…Pinworms can thrive among the little ones!
Thankfully, Doctor Odzer knew how to treat a pinworm infection. In most cases, there is nothing to worry about. The main problem? Pinworms can easily re-infect a patient, even after healing. For this reason, the doctor made sure to talk to each kid, the families, and school representatives to help them set up the most effective hygiene norms ever. Being aware of good hygiene was indeed the best way to prevent pinworms from spreading around and causing a lot more issues and missed school days!
In a matter of weeks, all the kids in the school would be free of that nasty lower back itching, which had been worrying about their parents so much!
The idea of having worms in their bodies freaked some kids out, so they changed their habits after the experience!