Parasitic Diseases Harm A
Billion People Every Year.

Parasitic diseases can strike while you and your family are on vacation in some exotic location, while playing with your pet, while camping or going for a swim, while walking barefoot, if you eat exotic or undercooked foods, or occasionally if you come in contact with an infected person.

A comprehensive list of human parasitic diseases can be found at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Alphabetical Index of Parasite Diseases.

Parasitic Diseases.

Uploaded by AnimalPlanetTV on Jun 23, 2009
Deadly Parasites Invade City's Water System... in 1993 an outbreak of Cryptosporidiosis occurred in Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA which infected more than 400,000 people and caused over 104 deaths.

Parasitic diseases are much more prevalent in under-developed countries where the following factors exist:

  • poverty,

  • poor sanitation,

  • contaminated drinking water,

  • inadequate hygiene,

  • careless food preparation practices,

  • inadequate medical care,

  • lack of control of carriers like mosquitoes,

  • ignorance of health hazards,

  • where human waste is used to fertilise food crops.

It is estimated 2 billion people are infected with parasites globally which is a problem since overseas travel is now more accessible and affordable than ever.

More worryingly, parasites are also evolving and developing resistance to the antibiotics and drugs we use to fight and eliminate them.

Parasites Invade Our Bodies by:

  • Attaching to our skin (ticks, head lice, scabies).

  • Being swallowed (Hydatid cyst disease, intestinal worms, Giardia).

  • From insect bites (Malaria).

  • Burrowing through our skin (dog hookworm).

Parasitic Diseases of 3rd World Countries:

Some of the parasites you may encounter while overseas include:

  • Amoebic Dysentery... causes severe diarrhoea, stomach pains, chills, fever, headaches, and may lead to liver abscesses, bowel perforation and death. It infects up to 50 million people each year causing up to 100,000 deaths.

  • Bilharzia... a flat worm that infects over 200 million people across 74 countries causing 20,000 deaths per year... it inhabits the veins of pelvic organs and is caused by poor sanitation and contaminated water supplies & waterways.

  • Elephantiasis... thread-like parasitic worms block the body's lymphatic nodes causing oedema and grotesque swelling of the lower torso, usually in the legs and genitals.

  • Guinea Worm... a thread-like worm up to 1 metre long that lives under the skin and causes severe pain and debilitation... caused by inadequate sanitation and contaminated drinking water... mostly found in Africa (see video at bottom of page).

  • Hookworm... infects around 740 million people annually mainly in tropical developing countries in Africa, Latin America, and South-East Asia & China... an intestinal parasite that can grow 1 cm long and 4mm wide and usually enters through the skin... can be picked up by walking bare-foot on faeces-contaminated soil, or be ingested from infected dogs, or crops fertilised with sewage... dozens of worms attach to intestine walls where they suck blood and interfere with food absorption.

  • Human Bot fly... occurs mainly in Central and South America... it lays its eggs on a carrier like a mosquito which then drops the hatching larvae onto skin which they penetrate.

  • Leishmaniasis... transmitted by the bite of infected sand flies.

  • Malaria... thought to infect 300-500 million people world-wide and kill around 2 million each year.

  • Schistosomiasis... is a parasite carried by fresh-water snails and infects up to 120 million people a year, 20 million seriously.

  • Tse Tse Fly... also known as the "Sleeping Sickness" and found mainly in Africa... is fatal if left untreated and kills up to 300,000 each year (ref: Wikipedia).

Uploaded by AnimalPlanetTV on Jul 31, 2009
A honeymoon in Africa turns into a nightmare for a New York woman after she is infected with the deadliest parasite on the planet... Malaria.

Uploaded by AnimalPlanetTV on Jul 27, 2009
A brutal killer invades a traveler's blood... carried by a Tse Tse Fly.

Parasitic Diseases of Developed Countries:

The more common parasites you may come across at home include:

  • Cryptosporidiosis... a protozoan parasite that infects the intestines causing diarrhoea... in health-compromised patients like AIDS sufferers and the elderly it can prove fatal... in 1993 an outbreak in Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA infected more than 400,000 people and caused over 104 deaths.

  • Dog Hookworm... these parasitic nematodes hook on to the walls of intestines and suck blood, causing damage to the intestinal tissue, blood loss, and anaemia.

  • Giardiasis... is caused by a microscopic parasite in faeces-contaminated water, soil, or food. Up to 33% of people in developing countries are infected. This parasite is one of the main culprits that causes up to 1.8 million deaths from diarrhoea each year, the majority young children (almost 4,000 children die each day). Also most at risk are travellers to countries where it is endemic, campers drinking untreated water from lakes or rivers, and those engaging in oral-anal contact during sex (ref: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

  • Human Threadworm... children are more often infected by these and can swallow or inhale the larvae which appear 4-8 weeks later as worms in the faeces or around the anus looking like short (5-10mm), wriggling, bits of white cotton.

  • Hydatid Disease... humans catch the disease by hand to mouth transfer of hydatid tapeworm eggs from dog faeces... the larvae burrow through the intestine mucosa and spread to various organs (even the brain) forming cysts which must often be removed surgically... dogs often pick up the disease by eating infected raw offal.

  • Lyme Disease...

  • Toxoplasmosis... is transmitted by cats and is dangerous to pregnant women.

  • Trichinosis... caused by eating under-cooked or raw wild game or pork infected with larvae of roundworm Trichinella spiralis.... various species of this parasite are found in bear, foxes, crocodiles, walrus, wild pigs, horse and lion meat... the parasite invades muscle tissue including the heart, diaphragm, and can affect the lungs and brain.

Uploaded by AnimalPlanetTV on Aug 12, 2010
A woman contracts a parasite, Trichinella spiralis, after eating infected meat.

Uploaded by AnimalPlanetTV on Aug 12, 2010
After eating raw sushi, a woman fights for her life... Anisakis roundworm.

Symptoms of Parasitic Diseases...

... can be vague and may include fever, general malaise, diarrhoea, aching muscles and joints, fatigue, abdominal pain, vomiting, worms present in stools or vomit, listless sleep, anaemia, allergies, weight loss, increased appetite, bowel obstruction, nervousness, dehydration and itching around anal or vaginal areas (with some worm infestations).

Symptoms of parasitic diseases may sometimes be confused with food poisoning.

Uploaded by AfricaCreativeHub on Nov 30, 2011
On the 10th of November the Neglected Tropical Diseases unit of the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation launched the Master Plan on tackling Trachoma, Intestinal worms, Bilharzia, Hydatid disease, Elephantiasis and Kala-azar in Kenya, Africa.

Uploaded by CarterCenter on Jun 16, 2007
Set up by former US President Jimmy Carter The Carter Center began leading the campaign to eradicate Guinea worm in 1986. There were an estimated 3.5 million cases of the disease in 20 countries in Africa and Asia. Today, less than a fraction of one percent of Guinea worm cases remain in a handful of endemic countries: Sudan, Ghana, Mali, Ethiopia, Niger, and Nigeria.

Thread-like worms up to 3 feet long cause agonisingly painful & debilitating blisters on the feet... removing them is a slow, painful process often taking weeks where the worms are pulled out inch by painful inch.

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