Amebiasis, also known as amoebiasis or amoebic dysentery,is a parasite called Entamoeba histolytica, or E. histolytica. This infection is caused by ingesting entamoeba histolytica cysts found in water, soil, or fertilizer contaminated with feces. The symptoms range from diarrhea, stomach pain, and stomach cramping to more severe effects of amebic dysentery, including bloody stool, fever, and severe stomach pain.
When cysts enter the human body, they release a parasite called trophozoite in the digestive tract, which reproduces in the large intestinal wall or colon, causing bloody stool, colitis, and stomach pain.
Anyone can become infected; however, it is most common in
– People who visited a place with poor sanitary conditions
– People who live in institutions with unsanitary conditions, such as a jail
– People who come into direct contact with infected feces
– People who eat food prepared from someone that didn’t wash their hands
When a person becomes infected, the parasite can spread to others through stool, even if the infected person doesn’t have symptoms. Individuals can also become infected if they touch a contaminated surface and bring their hands to their mouth.
While anyone can contract this parasitic infection, it is most common in places with poor sanitary conditions. If you are traveling to a country with poor sanitary conditions, take the proper precautions to avoid contracting amebiasis:
– Only drink bottled water
– Use bottled water to brush your teeth
– Drink carbonated canned beverages such as soda
– Avoid using ice cubes
– Refrain from drinking fountain drinks
– Peel fruits and vegetables
– Don’t eat food sold from street vendors
– Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water after using the restroom, before eating, and before handling food.
Your doctor will confirm via stool sample if you have Amebiasis, and may prescribe an anti-parasitic medication like HUMATIN™ to treat it.