What is it?

Amebiasis is an infection caused by a parasite called Entamoeba histolytica. You can get infected from eating food or drinking water contaminated with the amoebas' cysts or through contact with faecal matter. It is more common in countries of the Indian subcontinent, parts of central and south America. Most people who get infected by the amoeba will not have severe symptoms. Those who are at greater risk for amebiasis are people who travel to tropical locations with poor sanitation, immigrants, people who live in institutions, men who have sex with men and immunocompromised people.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- amebic dysentery
- Amebic Lung Abscess
- Amebic Liver Abscess
- Amebic Brain Abscess

Signs & symptoms

Symptoms of amebiasis may include stomach cramping and loose stools. If the disease progresses it can cause frquent watery and bloody stoold and svere abdominal cramping. If the parasite enters the blood stream and invades other organs it may cause abcesses and severe illness. If it reaches the liver it can cause fever and right upper abdomen pain.

Diagnosis

Amebsiasis is suspected when a risk factor exists. Then, a stool sample may be taken and blood work may look for liver function. If a disease in the liver is suspected, imaging tests such as US, CT or an MRI scan may be done. If there is a lesion in the liver, a biopsy may be taken.

Treatment

Treatment includes antibiotics (Flagyl). Sometimes surgical treatment may be needed.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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