What Is The Transmission of Parasites?
What Did This Dog Lick Before Kissing Its Best Friend? This is such
sweet picture, but unfortunately it's also a mode for the transmission of parasites.
Parasite eggs and larvae are present in the feces of animals infected with worms or microscopic parasites. Dogs lick their butts, then lick... ?!
Cat and dog fleas are also vectors for parasite infections. Animals bite or lick itchy areas on their bodies, and can then transfer flea eggs, larva, or excrement to humans. Dogs can transmit over 60 different parasites to humans, including pinworms,
tapeworms, and roundworms. The transmission of parasites is related to several other risk factors that have contributed to a US and global
epidemic of parasite infections. Awareness of parasite cleanse and some prevention guidelines can curtail the spread.
Common Pathways For The Transmission of Parasites
- Food or Water Contamination - roundworm, amoebae, giardia, cryptosporidium
- mosquito - canine heartworm, filaria, malaria
- flea - canine tapeworm
- housefly - amoebic cysts
- sand fly - leishmaniasis
- Sexual Contact - trichomonas, giardia, amoebae
- Inhalation of Contaminated Dust or Air - pinworm, Toxoplasma gondii
- Skin Penetration - hookworms, schistosomes, strongyloides
Several Factors Contribute to the Widespread Parasite
Epidemic, Increasing the Risk of More People Acquiring Parasite Infections.
Immigrants and refugees from endemic areas, especially tropical and subtropical regions, are often carriers of intestinal parasites such as tapeworms. This population often ends up working in restaurants or agriculture handling food, or as housekeepers and child-care workers.
People often develop more resistance to parasites endemic to their own countries. However, they can be
carriers for the transmission of parasites when they visit or immigrate to a new location.
The increased use of exotic ethnic restaurants and imported foods has lead to an increased incidence of the transmission of parasites via food. Tapeworm is transmitted in raw and undercooked fish and meat.
Red snapper and Pacific salmon are often infested with anisakid roundworms, which can cause stomach ulcers or anisakiasis - a condition resembling Crohn's disease. Although they don't reproduce in humans, they can cause intense abdominal pain for the week or so before they die.
An outbreak of the cyclospora parasite in the US was traced to raspberries imported from Guatamala and Chile. A business luncheon in Texas resulted in at least a half dozen executives becoming infected with cyclospora.
- Microscopic giardia and cryptosporidium are becoming endemic in day care centers where many children are diaper-aged. The transmission of parasites occurs between the children, or by workers who don't wash thoroughly after changing diapers. Cysts can survive under the fingernails, in the soil, or in sandboxes for
- Antibiotics upset the natural ecology of the intestines and vagina, which often leaves people more susceptible to yeast overgrowth (candidiasis) and trichomoniasis.
- Immunosuppressive drugs, used in cancer treatment and organ transplants, leave patients at greater risk for all parasites including toxoplasmosis, an opportunistic infection sometimes spread via infected cat feces.
- More people are traveling internationally for business or pleasure, and are returning home with parasites such as giardia, roundworms, tapeworms, and schistosomiasis.
- Military troops returning home from overseas can harbor a variety of parasites.
- Vietnam vets were often infected with parasites that affected their central nervous system, intestines, lungs, and liver.
- Desert Storm soldiers were told not to donate blood because of the incidence of the parasitic
disease leishmaniasis, spread by desert sand flies.
- And now hundreds of soldiers stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan are also infected with
leishmaniasis. Most develop skin ulcers that don't heal easily, but some have involvement of their internal organs,
a much more serious complication.
- Americans consume high amounts of sugar and processed foods, and parasites thrive in a sugar-laden environment.
- Having a variety of sexual partners and sexual practices, such as anal and oral sex, increases the
risk of sexual transmission of parasites - including trichomonas, entamoeba hystolytica, giardia, tapeworm, and
It's estimated that 50% of the US municipal and rural water supply is contaminated with chlorine-resistant giardia and cryptosporidium. This condition makes it even more imperative to use a
reverse-osmosis water purifier at home.
When a water purification plant in Milwaukee, Wisconsin became contaminated with cryptosporidium, over
400,000 people became seriously ill with intestinal disorders and approximately 100 people died. Similar infections have occurred in many other cities and towns due to the transmission of parasites by way of a
contaminated municipal water supply.
Living with our furry friends exposes us to many canine and feline parasites. Dogs can transmit 65 types of parasites to humans, while cats can share about 40 contagious diseases.
Transmission of parasites such as giardia, hookworm, roundworm, and toxoplasmosis can be transmitted to humans from dogs, cats, and other animals.
Cats often walk all over the food-prep areas at home and many of us love to kiss our dogs, sometimes letting them lick our faces, mouths, and hands.
Prevention is always the best approach for any type of health issue. It's so much easier to prevent disease than it is to treat it and heal from it once you're affected. This is especially true for parasites, because they're difficult to diagnose and often complicated to treat.
Parasites are opportunists, meaning they take advantage of a weakened system. When the immune system is strong and functioning properly, parasites cannot thrive. They will be attacked and destroyed when they enter a healthy body.
In addition to living a healthy lifestyle and maintaining a strong immune system, there are lifestyle precautions you can take to prevent parasite infections.
Keep your fingernails short and scrub under them with a nail brush.
In public toilets, don't sit on a bare toilet seat without protecting it with paper; squat if possible.
- Always wash your hands with soap and water
- prior to eating
- after going to the bathroom
- after changing baby diapers
- after handling pets, livestock or other animals
Avoid walking barefoot, especially in warm, moist sandy soil.
Don't use tap water to clean contact lenses - use sterilized lens preparations.
Use a shower filter or bath-water filter.
- Pinworm eggs and trichomonas can be present on toilet seats.
- Trichomonas can also be spread through mud or water baths, or from sauna benches.
Infants and Children
- Breast-feed your baby for as long as possible. Human milk contains antiprotozoan properties that help protect against giardia and amoeba.
- Don't let toddlers play with puppies and kittens that have not been regularly dewormed.
- Teach your children to routinely wash after contact with pets.
- Prevent toddlers from kissing pets or being licked by them.
- Don't allow children to eat dirt or grass.
- Don't allow children to play in soil where animals are allowed to roam.
- Keep their fingernails short and clean.
Food and Water
- Wash fresh fruits and vegetables carefully.
- Avoid eating raw or undercooked meat and fish.
- Limit or avoid eating foods that parasites thrive on - dairy, sugar and other refined carbohydrates.
- Have your tap water tested, especially if using well-water.
- Drink only purified water, preferably by reverse osmosis.
- When backpacking, camping, or traveling, bring a portable water purifier, such as First Need.
- Use condoms during sexual intercourse.
- For anal and oral sex, or when using sex toys - use condoms and other safe-sex precautions to avoid the transmission of parasites by cross-contamination.
- Have your pets dewormed regularly, using a natural remedy.
- Collect and discard animal droppings daily.
- Use gloves to empty the cat litter box daily, especially if being used by multiple cats.
- If cats have outside access, have them wear a bell to discourage hunting rodents and birds.
- Keep sandboxes covered.
- Wash their food and water dishes regularly.
- Provide your pets with filtered drinking water.
- Wash pet beds regularly and sprinkle with herbal flea powder.
- After urinating, wipe from front to back.
- Pregnant women should avoid handling cat litter and limit exposure to cats.
Foods You Can Add To Your Diet
- Fresh pineapple and papaya (seeds) contain the protein-digesting enzymes, bromelain and papain, which help cure worm infestations.
- Pure pomegranate juice can be effective against tapeworms.
- Pumpkin seeds help to eliminate worms.
- Sage, fennel, cloves, and thyme are anti-parasitic seasonings that can be added to food.
- Garlic is a vermifuge against pinworms, hookworms, tapeworms, and round worms.
- Mugwort tea helps against parasite invasion.
- Other foods with anti-parasitic properties include onions, cabbage, crushed lemon seeds, blackberries, ground almonds, radishes, and figs.
Read More Parasite Information...
Human Parasites ~ What Exactly Is a Parasite and How Do They Harm Our Bodies?
Parasite Cleanse ~ Parasite Symptoms and Parasite Removal
Parasite Diagnosis Questionnaire ~ Symptoms, Lifestyle, Travel History
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