Enterobius vermicularis Figure

The prophylactic measures against enterobiosis have been ineffective in all three Baltic countries, with no decrease in prevalence being achieved. Due to the capability of E. vermicularis to parasitize, mainly children, it would be incorrect to speak about prevalence of infection in the whole population. The data received from the health officials of the three countries seem to be incomparable, as in Lithuania the enterobiosis investigations have been kept separate from the control programme of other helminthosis since 1949. The data on Estonia taken from the official publication of the National Board of Health Protection (Jogiste et al. 1995) give the prevalence calculated to the whole population. The same is the situation with the data from Latvia. Accordingly, the data given in Figure 5.4 are informative only concerning dynamics of prevalence of the infection, but the levels of prevalence are

Figure 5.4 Prevalence of enterobiasis in three Baltic states (1948-1996).

incomparable. It appears that in the 1960s, in Estonia, only 3% of the population (mainly children) were studied for E. vermicularis eggs, and 16.2% of the people studied were positive. In the 1970s, 12.2% of the population was studied, with 14.5% prevalence. In the 1980s, 17.6% of the population was studied, and the prevalence was 10.3%. These results do not seem to indicate a decrease in prevalence, but it is more likely that by widening the range of people being studied the control measures were less and less directed to specific risk groups (Jogiste and Barotov 1993).

Looking at the dynamics of prevalence of enterobiosis in Latvia (Figure 5.4) we see a sharp rise in prevalence beginning from 1984, which seems to be difficult to explain. It is most likely that changes were made in an overall helminthosis control strategy, more attention being paid to E. vermicularis infection, and the portion of the enterobiosis risk group (children) rose in the number of people tested. In conclusion, it can be said that the data available for Lithuania (12-15% positive for the people tested during the 1990s) seem to be characteristic for the risk groups of all the Baltic states.

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