How do we get sick from parasites?

This ghastly germ group includes itty-bitty insert larvae, amoebas, and one-celled organisms called protozoa that live in nasty food, damp soil, or dirty water. Parasites depend on a living host for their survival. They sneak into our bodies in tainted water and food, causing us all sorts of gastro-intestinal gripes: diarrhea, vomiting, upset stomachs, and worse. Malaria – a common diseases that causes chills, shaking, and fevers – is spread by a parasite passed in mosquito bites. These life-sucking relationships are often the stuff of nightmares.

Parasites normally enter the body through the skin or mouth. Close contact with pets can lead to parasite infestation as dogs and cats are host to many parasites.

Other risks that can lead people to acquire parasites are walking with barefeet, inadequate disposal of feces, lack of hygiene, and close contact with someone carrying specific parasites, and eating undercooked foods, unwashed fruits and vegetables or foods from contaminated regions.

Parasites can also be transferred to their host by the bite of an insect vector, i.e. mosquito, bed bug, fleas.


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