Dr. Hong said that there are 6 parasitic worms that live in humans. Those are giardiasis, Cryptosporodiosis, Hook worm, Strongyloidiasis, Schstosomiasis, and Amebiasis. He said parasites are shed in human or animal stool; a source of an infection in poor countries is usually stool-contaminated food or water, and in industrialized countries, recreational water such as lakes, pool.
Dr. Hong said Giardiasis is caused by a microscopic parasite. The parasite found on surfaces or in soil, food, or water that has been contaminated with the feces from infected humans or animals. You can become infected after accidentally swallowing the parasite, by drinking water from contaminated sources (e.g., lakes, streams, or poorly monitored wells), eating uncooked food contaminated with giardia, swallowing recreational water contaminated with giardia includes water in swimming pools, water parks, fountains, lakes, river, ponds, or streams that can be contaminated with feces or sewage from humans or animals.
Cryptosporodiosis is a diarrheal disease caused by microscopic parasites known as “Crypto.” While this parasite can be transmitted in several different ways, water is a common method of transmission. Crypto lives in the intestine of infected humans or animals. You can become infected after accidentally swallowing the parasite. Crypto may be found in soil, food, water, or surfaces that have been contaminated with the feces from infected humans or animals. Contaminated water may include water that has not been boiled or filtered, as well as contaminated recreational water sources. Crypto parasites are found in every region of the US and throughout the world.
Dr. Hong said that hookworm is an intestinal parasite of humans that causes mild diarrhea and abdominal pain. Hookworm infections occur mostly in tropical and subtropical climates. You can become infected by direct contact with contaminated soil through walking barefoot. Children who play in dirt and often go barefoot are at high risk.
Dr. Hong said Strongyloidiasis or roundworm is found in tropical and subtropical areas. More frequently found in rural areas and lower socioeconomic groups. Schstosomiasis is a disease caused by parasitic worms. Infection occurs when your skin comes in contact with contaminated freshwater in which certain types of snails that carry schistosomes are living. It is found in the rivers, lakes, or ponds in the Kratie and Stung Treng provinces.
The schistosoma parasites can penetrate the skin of persons who are swimming, bathing, or washing in the contaminated water. Within several weeks, worms grow inside the blood vessels of the body and produce eggs. Some of these eggs travel to the bladder or intestines and are passed into the urine or stool.
Dr. Hong said that Amebiasis is caused by the parasite. It can affect anyone. It is more common in people who live in tropical areas with poor sanitations. Infected people do not always become sick.
Next month we will talk about symptom, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of intestinal parasites.