Amebiasis is an intestinal illness that is typically transmitted when someone eats or drinks something that has been contaminated with a microscopic parasite called Entamoeba histolytica (E. histolytica). The parasite is an amoeba, a single-celled organism. That’s how the illness got its name — Amebiasis.
Amebiasis occurs worldwide, but it is more common in areas of poor sanitation and nutrition.
The disease is most commonly transmitted when a person eats food or drinks water containing E. histolytica cysts from human feces.
Diagnosis of Amebiasis can be very difficult. One problem is that other parasites and cells may look very similar to E. histolytica when seen under a microscope.
People exposed to this parasite may experience mild to severe symptoms, or possibly no symptoms at all.
- Abdominal cramps
- Intestinal gas (excessive flatus)
- Rectal pain while having a bowel movement (tenesmus)
- Unintentional weight loss
- Passage of 3 -8 semi formed stools per day
- Passage of soft stools with mucus and occasional blood
Prognosis: The outcome is usually good with treatment.
Prevention: When traveling in tropical countries with poor sanitation levels drink purified or boiled water and do not eat uncooked vegetables or unpeeled fruit. Public health measures include water purification, water chlorination, and sewage treatment programs.