• Amoebic Dysentery

    (Amebiasis)

    Definition

    Amoebic dysentery is an intestinal illness associated with stomach pain, bloody stools, and fever. This condition can be treated.

    Causes

    Amoebic dysentery is caused by a parasite called Entamoeba histolytica . You may develop amoebic dysentery if you:
    • Put something in your mouth that has touched the stool of a person infected with E histolytica
    • Swallow water or food that has been contaminated with E histolytica
    • Touch cysts (eggs) from E histolytica -contaminated surfaces and bring them to your mouth
    Digestive Pathway
    Digestive pathway
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    Risk Factors

    Factors that increase your risk of getting amoebic dysentery include:
    • Living in or traveling to developing countries, places that have poor sanitary conditions, or tropical or subtropical areas
    • Living in institutions
    • Having anal-sexual intercourse
    • Household contact

    Symptoms

    If you experience any of these symptoms do not assume it is due to amoebic dysentery. These symptoms may be caused by other, less serious health conditions.
    • Loose stools
    • Bloody stools
    • Nausea
    • Weight loss
    • Stomach pain
    • Fever
    • Pain on your right, upper side

    Diagnosis

    Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
    Your doctor may need tests of your bodily fluids and waste products. This can be done with:
    • Blood tests
    • Stool samples

    Treatment

    Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include the following:

    Medications

    Several antibiotics are available to treat amoebic dysentery. Probiotics may also be helpful.
    Several antibiotics are available to treat amoebic dysentery. Probiotics may also be helpful.

    Prevention

    To help reduce your chances of getting amoebic dysentery, take the following steps when traveling to a country that has poor sanitary conditions:
    • Drink only bottled water or water that has been boiled for at least one minute
    • Do not eat fresh fruit or vegetables that you do not peel yourself
    • Do not eat or drink unpasteurized milk, cheese, or dairy products
    • Do not eat or drink anything sold by street vendors

    RESOURCES

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov/

    National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases http://www.niaid.nih.gov

    CANADIAN RESOURCES

    Manitoba HealthCommunicable Disease Control Unit http://www.gov.mb.ca/health/publichealth/cdc/index.html

    Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca

    References

    Amebiasis (amoebic dysentery). New York State Department of Health website. Available at: http://www.health.state.ny.us/diseases/communicable/amebiasis/fact%5Fsheet.htm . Updated October 2011. Accessed January 7, 2013.

    Amoebic dysentery. DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed . Updated September 18, 2012. Accessed January 7, 2013.

    Parasites–amebiasis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/amebiasis/index.html . Updated November 2, 2010. Accessed January 7, 2013.

    Revision Information


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