Parasitic diseases

Human parasitic diseases (from the Greek parasitos - "parasite") are a large group of diseases from the section "infectious diseases", the cause of which is unicellular and multicellular parasites.

parasites in the human body

A parasite is a living organism that lives or is in the host's body and receives food from it or at its expense, that is, it leads a parasitic lifestyle. They all know how to live in the human body, some completely imperceptibly, and some can cause serious damage to health.

Causative agents of parasitic diseases

There are three main classes of parasites that can cause disease in humans:

Protozoa are microscopic unicellular organisms that can be free-living or parasitic in nature. They are able to reproduce in humans, which contributes to their survival, and also allows serious infections to develop from only one organism.

Helminths (from the Greek helmins - "worms") are large multicellular organisms that are usually visible to the naked eye during the adult stage. Like protozoa, helminths can be either free-living or parasitic in nature. In their adult form, helminths cannot reproduce in humans.

Ectoparasites: This term is usually used more narrowly to refer to organisms, such as ticks, fleas, and lice, that attach or hide in the skin and remain there for a long period of time (weeks to months). Arthropods can cause infections on their own, or they can carry others. diseases.

List of parasitic infections: amebiasis, ascariasis, hymenolepiasis, diphyllobothriasis, clonorchiasis, cryptosporidiosis, giardiasis, malaria (imported cases), opisthorchiasis, teniarinhoses, teniasis, toxocariasis, toxoplasmosis, trichinosis, trichocytocephalosis, cystichocytosis.

Signs of parasitic diseases.

Their manifestations can be varied and depend on the type and localization of the parasite, as well as on the level of immunity of the person who is their host.

Protozoa most commonly cause diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms. Helminth infections can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea (diarrhea), muscle pain, coughing, skin lesions, malnutrition, weight loss, impaired coordination of movement and speech, seizures, and many other symptoms, depending on the individual and the severity of the infection.

Diagnostics and treatment of parasitic diseases

Diagnosis of parasitic diseases includes:

  • Clinical blood test.
  • Blood test for specific antibodies and parasite antigens.
  • Blood smear.
  • Analysis of feces for eggs of worms and parasites.
  • Endoscopic research methods (for example, colonoscopy, in the case of complex diagnostics).
  • Radiography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) for severe damage to internal organs by parasites.

The treatment plan will depend on the specific diagnosis. As a rule, drugs are prescribed in the form of tablets, sometimes inpatient treatment is required, up to surgical intervention.

Other treatments may also be recommended to relieve your symptoms (diet, water intake).

Prevention of parasitic diseases

Prevention is always easier than cure, and there are simple ways to protect yourself.

Do not eat:

  • undercooked fish, crabs and shellfish;
  • undercooked meat;
  • raw aquatic plants;
  • raw vegetables that may have been contaminated with human or animal faeces.

Parasites can live in natural water sources, so while swimming:

  • do not swallow water;
  • prevent babies from defecating in the water, take babies to the toilet and check diapers every hour, change diapers in the bathroom or in the diaper-changing area rather than by the pool to avoid germs getting into the pool;
  • do not swim or let children swim if they have diarrhea;
  • do your mini inspection (contamination);
  • shower for at least 1 minute before submerging in water.

Pets can carry parasites and transmit them to humans. Zoonotic disease is a disease that spreads between animals and humans. Sometimes people with zoonotic infections have no symptoms. Other people may have symptoms such as diarrhea, muscle aches, and fever.

Regular veterinary care will protect your pet and your family. There are simple steps you can take to protect yourself and your family from diseases that can be carried by animals. Make sure your pet is looked after by a veterinarian.

Practice the four rules:

  1. Collect animal excrement quickly and dispose of properly. Be sure to wash your hands after handling household waste.
  2. Wash your hands often, especially after touching animals, and avoid contact with animal faeces.
  3. Follow proper food handling procedures to reduce the risk of contamination with contaminated food.
  4. For people with weakened immune systems, take extra care when coming into contact with animals that can transmit these infections.