What is Amoebiasis
Amoebiasis is a common infection of the human gastrointestinal tract. Amoebiasis is more closely related to poor sanitation and socioeconomic status than to climate. It has worldwide distribution. It is a major health problem in China, South East and West Asia and Latin Am Read more...
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What is Amoebiasis
Amoebiasis is a common infection of the human gastrointestinal tract. Amoebiasis is more closely related to poor sanitation and socioeconomic status than to climate. It has worldwide distribution. It is a major health problem in China, South East and West Asia and Latin America, especially Mexico.
Amoebiasis is a disease caused by the parasite Entamoeba histolytica. Only about 10% to 20% of people who are infected with E. histolytica become sick from the infection.
Causes of Amoebiasis
Amoebiasis is caused by parasite Entamoeba histolytica. Several protozoan species in the genus Entamoeba colonize humans, but not all of them are associated with disease. It exists in two forms- Vegetative (trophozoite) and cystic forms (cyst). Trophozoites multiply and encyst in the colon. The cysts are excreted in stool and are infective to humans. Cysts remain viable and infective for several days in faeces, water, sewage and soil in the presence of moisture and low temperature.
Transmission occurs via:
Faecal–oral route, either directly by person-to-person contact or indirectly by eating or drinking faecally contaminated food or water.
Sexual transmission by oral-rectal contact is also recognized especially among male homosexuals.
Vectors such as flies, cockroaches and rodents can also transmit the infection.
The incubation period for E histolytica infection is commonly 2-4 weeks but may range from a few days to years.
The use of night soil for agricultural purposes favours the spread of the disease. Epidemic/ outbreaks (occurrence of more cases of a disease than would be expected in a community or region during a given time period) are usually associated with sewage seepage into the water supply.
Symptoms of Amoebiasis
In typical Amoebiasis cases, which comprise 90% of contaminated individuals, symptoms generally appear within 7 to 30 days after contamination. A person with Amoebiasis will experience severe amoebic dysentery, which is indicated by abdominal cramping, diarrhea, stool that is accompanied by blood or mucus, nausea and vomiting, loss of weight, and an intermittent fever. Patients may also experience symptoms that are vague and not specific to the ailment itself.
Adverse Effects Of Body
The incubation period of Intestinal Amoebiasis can vary, ranging from a few days to months or years but is 1 to 4 weeks. The wide spectrum of intestinal infection ranges from asymptomatic to transient intestinal inflammation to severe colitis with an array of manifestations that may include toxic megacolon and peritonitis.
These are secondary to severe toxemia (affects pregnancy) perforation of the bowel, toxic megacolon, rupture of the hepatic abscess, lung, peritoneum, pericardium, skin and subcutaneous tissue. Extra-intestinal spread in the brain and bones is uncommon. Formation of a granuloma in the stomach wall mimicking a malignant growth, the Ameboma, is also not common. Rarely, a large hepatic abscess producing obstructive jaundice can occur. Fever, Leukocytosis with elevated polymorphs, the rise in hepatic enzymes and serum bilirubin are the additions of the complications.
Amoebiasis can be prevented and controlled both by non-specific and specific measures.
- Improved water supply– The cysts are not killed by chlorine in amount used for water disinfection. Water filtration and boiling are more effective than chemical treatment of water against amoebiasis.
Sanitation–Safe disposal of human excreta coupled with the sanitary practice of washing hands after defecation and always before handling and consuming food.
Food safety– Uncooked fruits and vegetables should be washed thoroughly with safe water, peel fruits, and boil vegetables prior to eating.Measures should also include the protection of food and drink from flies and cockroaches and the control of these insects. Carriers, who pass cysts and are involved in handling food, whether at home, at street stalls, or in catering establishments, should be actively detected and treated since they are major transmitters of amoebiasis.
Health education of the public as well as health personnel at all levels about sanitation and food hygiene-Elementary hygienic practices should be propagated and constantly reinforced in schools, health care units, and the home through periodic campaigns using the mass media.
General social and economic development-The implementation of individual and community preventive measures (e.g., washing of hands, proper excreta disposal) should be an essential part of these activities.
community surveys to monitor the local epidemiological situation with regard to amoebiasis;
improvement of case management, i.e., rapid diagnosis and adequate treatment of patients with invasive amoebiasis at all levels of the health services, including the community and health centre levels;
surveillance and control of situations that may encourage the further spread of amoebiasis, e.g., refugee camps, contaminated public water sources.
Gastrointestinal amebiasis is treated with nitroimidazole drugs, which kill amoebas in the blood, in the wall of the intestine and in liver abscesses. These drugs include-
You need to consult a doctor to decide dosage for these drugs. For children, it depends on their weight. However, if you use these drugs regularly, you can buy Anti-amebics online from a reputed online pharmacy as well.
MYTH: Fiber is not good for diarrhoea, as it is for constipation
FACT: Fibre is good for both constipation and diarrhoea. You must just be careful that soluble fibre makes stool harder while the insoluble form makes the stool loose. So, while suffering from diarrhoea, you can opt for soluble fibre like cooked beans, peas, oat bran and peeled fruits.
MYTH: If you have diarrhoea, you should not eat anything.
FACT: If you have diarrhoea, do not starve yourself as it may lead to weakness. Special care should be provided to children with diarrhoea, and they should be fed light food every 3-4 hours.