PInworms and pets

Pets as a source of pinworms in people (especially children) has been a widespread misconception. A recent article at gives a good overview of pinworms in people and has a nice section about pets.

"Pinworms that affect humans cannot infect animals or pets. However, some microscopic eggs may land on a pet's fur and then be transferred to human hands when stroking (petting). It is important to remember that the problem is not the pet, it is human hand washing and hygiene."

This nicely explains two key concepts:

  • People are the source of human pinworms.
  • Hand hygiene is an important routine practice around pets.
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