Amoebiasis Symptoms, Causes & Treatment
Amoebiasis is a parasitic infection of the intestines caused by the protozoan Entamoeba histolytica. include loose stool, abdominal cramping, and stomach pain. However, most people with amebiasis won’t experience significant symptoms.
Who Is at Risk for Amebiasis?
Amebiasis is common in tropical countries with underdeveloped sanitation. The Merck Manual states that amebiasis is most common in the Indian subcontinent, parts of Central and South America, and parts of Africa. It’s relatively rare in the United States.
Persons at greatest risk for amebiasis include:
- people who have traveled to tropical locations with poor sanitation
- immigrants from tropical countries with poor sanitary conditions
- people who live in institutions with poor sanitary conditions, such as prisons
- men who have sex with other men
- people with compromised immune systems and other health conditions
Risk factors for severe amebiasis include:
- Older or younger age
- Recent travel to a tropical region
- Use of corticosteroid medication to suppress the immune system
In the United States, amebiasis is most common among those who live in institutions or people who have traveled to an area where amebiasis is common.
Most people with this infection do not have symptoms. If symptoms occur, they are seen 7 to 28 days after being exposed to the parasite.
- Abdominal cramps
- Diarrhea: Passage of 3 to 8 semiformed stools per day, or passage of soft stools with mucus and occasional blood
- Excessive gas
- Rectal pain while having a bowel movement (tenesmus)
- Unintentional weight loss
Severe symptoms may include:
- Abdominal tenderness
- Bloody stools, including passage of liquid stools with streaks of blood, the passage of 10 to 20 stools per day
Proper sanitation is the key to avoiding amebiasis. Follow this regimen when preparing & eating food:
- Thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables before eating.
- Avoid eating fruits/vegetables unless you wash and peel them yourself.
- Stick to bottled water and soft drinks.
- If you must drink water, boil it, or treat it with iodine.
- Avoid ice cubes or fountain drinks.
- Must Avoid milk, cheese, or other unpasteurized dairy products.
- Strictly Avoid food sold by street vendors.
As a general rule, thoroughly wash hands with soap and water after using the bathroom and before handling food.
Amoebiasis Symptoms Causes Treatment
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