Amebiasis is a parasite that can live in the large intestine (colon) without causing any harm, but there are times when it may cause diarrhea, acute colitis or dysentery.

Amebiasis, most commonly occurs in tropical areas where greater overcrowding and poor hygiene are present; is an intestinal disease caused by the parasite Entamoeba histolytica. It is estimated that 50 million people a year are infected with this parasite.

The disease acquires, by ingesting contaminated food or water, but can also transmits from person to person by oral or rectal contact of an infected patient.

The symptoms of the disease include nausea, diarrhea (loose stools with mucus and occasionally bloody), unintentional weight loss, abdominal pain, excessive gas, or rectal pain while defecation; although there may be severe symptoms such as abdominal tenderness, fever, vomiting and bloody stools.

Treatment includes antibiotics prescribed by the doctor, hygiene measures to prevent the spread of more people, wash the hands after using the bathroom and before preparing food, and deworming at least once a year.

One of the major complications of amebiasis is liver abscess or spread the parasite to organs such as the liver, lungs and brain. It is very important that people with any suspicion of having amebiasis consult a specialist doctor.

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