Diarrhea: Amebasis

Monday, July 4, 2011

Diarrhea: Amebasis
What is Amebasis?
Amebasis is a disease in the gastrointestinal tract that is usually spread when a person is eating or drinking something contaminated with a parasite called Entamoeba histolytica (E. histolytica). The parasite is an amoeba, a single-celled organisms. For that reason this disease is called amebasis.

In many cases, the parasite lives in the intestines of a person without causing any symptoms. But sometimes these parasites attack the surface of the colon causing bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain, cramps, nausea, loss of appetite, or fever. In rare cases, these parasites can spread to other organs such as liver, lungs, and brain.
Amebasis typically occurs in crowded areas with inadequate sanitation. The disease is common in developing countries, including Africa, Latin America, India, and Southeast Asia.
Signs and Symptoms
Most of the children who experience symptoms of Amebasis have minimal or no symptoms. When children become ill, they experience abdominal pain that started slowly, along with bowel movements more often with soft or liquid stools, cramps, nausea, and loss of appetite. It can also be fever and bloody stools.
In some people, symptoms of Amebasis can begin within a few days to weeks after swallowing food or water contaminated by the amoeba. In others, symptoms of Amebasis can take many months to appear or never appear at all.
Amebasis is an infectious disease. In an unhealthy environment and poor hygiene, the infection spread from one person to another is very possible.
Someone who brings amoeba in the gut (carriers) to transmit the infection to others through the stool. When infected stool contaminates food or water supplies, Amebasis can spread quickly to many people at once. This is especially true in developing countries where drinking water may be contaminated. Amebasis can also be spread by washing hands that are not clean.

There is no vaccine to prevent Amebasis.
Because amoebas may contaminate food and water, you can help prevent by being careful about what you eat and drink. A good rule regarding food is to cook it, boil it, peel it, or if not possible then forget about food altogether.
If your doctor suspects that your child has Amebasis, you may be asked to collect stool samples.

When to Call the Doctor
Call your doctor if your child has signs or symptoms of Amebasis, including:
  • •    Diarrhea with blood or mucus
  • •    Abdominal pain
  • •    Fever
  • •    Belly bulge
  • •    Pain or tenderness in the liver area (under the ribs on the right)


Post a Comment

Copyright © Healthy Living Tips | Privacy Policy | RSS Feeds
Blogger Theme by Blogger Designed and Optimized by Tipseo