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VERIFY: No, healthy Americans do not need to take deworming medicine

Dr. Karla Robinson said intestinal parasites in Americans are very rare.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A viral video on social media platform Tik Tok that's making its way around Facebook groups in Charlotte claims people need to deworm themselves. 

The video has been shared thousands of times on Facebook and in many groups in Charlotte.


Do healthy Americans need to take deworming medicine? 



This is false.

No, according to Dr. Karla Robinson, intestinal parasites in Americans are very rare. 


According to the CDC, Strongyloides parasites, other soil-transmitted helminths (STH), and Schistosoma species are some of the most common infections among refugees. 

But what about Americans? 

"These other claims that you are seeing is talking about these other worms that can cause severe issues we just don’t have that here in this country that multiple people need to be concerned about," Robinson said. 

According to the CDC, pinworms are the most common worm infection in the United States and cause itching around the buttocks but mainly infect children.

"Pinworms would be the most common, you generally see that in our pediatric patients where they put their fingers in things or washing their hands," Robinson said. 

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These viral Tik Toks encourage people to take over-the-counter medication, but Robinson said it's best to speak with your doctor before taking anything for deworming.

"Using these over-the-counter products and things you find over the internet while they offer a cleanse so to speak it's not necessarily riding the body of the infection it’s not killing the parasites or the eggs and really doing a complete and total treatment," Robinson said. 

Robinson also said prescriptions from a doctor would work best because they actually kill the worms. 

"It's best to make sure you are using a treatment that has been recommended by a health care provider so we know there are many things you can purchase online or on the internet that are just not regulated," Robinson said. 

If you feel like you have any symptoms call your doctor. 

Contact Meghan Bragg at mbragg@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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VERIFY is dedicated to helping the public distinguish between true and false information. The VERIFY team, with help from questions submitted by the audience, tracks the spread of stories or claims that need clarification or correction. Have something you want VERIFIED? Text us at 704-329-3600 or visit /verify.