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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Amoebiasis

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Amoebiasis refers to infection caused by protozoa known as histolytica. The infection is common in areas with poor sanitation or living conditions. 90% of the cases parasite lives in the intestine without causing symptoms, in few of the cases it can produce severe symptoms

Occurrence

Infection occurs by oral route mainly by eating unhygienic food or drinking water contaminated with feces, containing the parasite.

Another source of the infection is food that is being handled by an infected person with poor personal hygiene.

People infested with the parasite will pass parasites in their feces.


The infection spreads when infected person does not dispose of their feces in a sanitary manner or do not wash their hands properly with soap after going to the toilet.


There are two kinds of infections, one that is confined to the intestinal lumen causing intestinal amoebiasis, the other one that spreads to the liver causing hepatic amoebiasis.

 

Signs & symptoms

  • Most common is asymptomatic cyst passage
  • The symptoms may take 2-6 weeks after eating contaminated food
  • Symptoms of intestinal amoebiasis commonly include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, loose stools with streaks of blood or mucus, nausea or vomiting and occasionally fever
  • The hepatic amoebiasis on other hand can be asymptomatic and dull abdominal pain in the right upper quadrant may be one of the earliest symptoms

 

 Diagnosis

Stool examination can confirm the diagnosis. The cysts of the parasite can be detected by a microscopic examination of freshly passed stool.


Treatment

Metronidazole, or a related drug such as Tinidazole, Secnidazole or Ornidazole, is used to treat this condition of intestinal amoebiasis.

 

Care at Home

  • For preventing dehydration due to loose motions drink lot of fluids like water, juice, tea and oral rehydrating or electrolyte solutions
  • It is important to drink frequently so as to avoid dehydration
  • Avoid solids and spicy foods because they can exacerbate the symptoms. Light soups, toast, rice water and boiled eggs are good foods to eat during recovery

 

Prevention

  • Maintain good hygiene, hand washing practices
  • Clean bathrooms and toiletsoften; pay particular attention to toilet seats and taps
  • Avoid sharing towelsor napkins

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