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Amebiasis

What is Amebiasis?

Amebiasis is an infection caused by the microscopic parasite, Entamoeba histolytica. The parasite attaches to the large intestine.

In severe cases, the parasites can spread through the body and affect other organs.

What Causes Amebiasis?

Amebiasis occurs when a person swallows microscopic cysts containing the parasites. The cysts may be in contaminated food or water.

Symptoms of Amebiasis

Most of the time symptoms do not occur. When symptoms do occur, the parasites have already invaded deeply into wall of the intestine. Some common symptoms are:

  • severe abdominal pain
  • bloodstained diarrhea
  • diarrhea that is filled with mucus
  • 8 to 12 bowel movements a day
  • fever

How is Amebiasis Diagnosed?

If you believe you have amebiasis, you should see a doctor. Your doctor will take a stool sample and examine it for parasites.

Can Amebiasis be Treated?

Yes. If you have amebiasis, your doctor will prescribe antimicrobial medications. The duration of treatment will depend on the severity of amebiasis. Sometimes treatments will need to be given for 3 complete weeks.

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