Amoebiasis is a parasitic infection caused by Entamoeba histolytica. It is the third most common cause of death (after Schistosomiasis and Malaria) from parasitic infections. This disease generally occurs in young to middle aged adult. Amoebiasis is usually transmitted by contamination of drinking water and foods with fecal matter, but it can also be transmitted indirectly through contact with dirty hands or objects as well as by oral-anal contact. Amoebiasis is mostly associated with people living in areas of poor sanitation and it is a common cause of diarrhea among people living or traveling to developing countries, specially those located in tropical or subtropical areas, but also coming from domestic suburbs with non hygienic conditions.
Approximately 500 cases are reported each year in New York State. About 500 million people worldwide are believed to carry E. histolytica in their intestines. Amoebiasis is believed to cause between 40,000 and 100,000 deaths worldwide each year. The symptoms of intestinal amoebiasis include diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, bowel movements streaked with blood or mucus, nausea or vomiting and occasionally fever. Most patients with liver abscess are febrile and have right-upper-quadrant pain, which may be dull or pleuritic in nature and radiate to the shoulder. Point tenderness over the liver and right-sided pleural effusion are common. Jaundice is rare It can also spread to other organs like the liver, lungs, and brain by invading the venous system of the intestines.
General therapy relieves symptoms, replaces blood, and corrects fluid and electrolyte losses. Asymptomatic patients can be treated with luminal agents like Liodoquinol or Diloxanide Furoate. Anti-diarrhoeal medication may also be prescribed. Metronidazole can produce a metallic taste in the mouth and may give rise to nausea. Several drugs are available for treating intestinal infections, the most effective of which has been shown to be Paromomycin and diloxanide furoate is used in the US.Clean bathrooms and toilets often. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and hot running water for at least 10 seconds after using the toilet or changing a nappy.
Avoid eating uncooked foods, particularly vegetables and fruit which cannot be peeled before eating.
Ameobiasis Treatment and Prevention Tips
1. Cut and keep your nails clean
2. Wash hands before food and after using the toilet
3. Avoid solids because they can cause cramps.
4. Wash vegetables and fruits well in flowing water before intake or cooking
5. Avoid sharing towels with infected persons
6. Avoid alcohol for preventing intestinal complications while having amoebiasis
7. Take care of drinking water – either opt for mineral water or water boiled for 20 minutes
8. Avoid eating uncooked foods, particularly vegetables and fruit which cannot be peeled before eating.