Ana Theresa Williams BSN RN
My for-mer clinical instructor in college taught us before that we should avoid buying foods ped-dled by any street vendor because we were not certain about how they prepared the food. Poor hygiene usually causes several diseases that infect your intestine.
Also, buying fruits and vegetables that have been peeled already should be avoided. Likewise when eating raw foods like kinilaw. Again, it is better to be safe than sorry later.
Not because we are the children or heir of Mr. Richie Rich, but we rather just want to protect ourselves from getting infected.
And do you know that once you got infected with amoebiasis, you will have it for the rest of your life? Yes, that’s true! Your prescribed medicines may help control the parasite, but there is still the tendency for amoebiasis to recur. It sounds like this is a ‘forever yours’ disease.
Also, if you are infected with amoebiasis you are not allowed to handle infants/babies, elderly and those who have lower immune system since they are the vulnerable groups.
Amoebiasis takes place when your intestine or gut becomes infected with the parasite called Entamoeba histolytica that is often abbreviated to E. histolytica.
Entamoeba is a group of single-celled parasites that can infect both humans and some animals. There are at least six species of Entamoeba that can infect the human gut but only E. histolytica causes disease.
- histolytica lives in the intestine or gut of infected people. It can be passed out in their stools or feces. The parasite can actually survive for weeks, or even months, in soil, fertilizer, or water that is contaminated with infected feces. If another person then drinks the contami-nated water or eats conta-minated food, they too can become infected.
- histolytica can also be present on the hands of an infected person if they follow poor hygiene prac-tices such as not washing or drying their hands properly after going to the toilet.
Also, if the infected person is in contact with another person, or prepares food for others, the parasite can enter another person’s mouth, start to multiply in their gut, and therefore amoebiasis can be passed on.
Sexual transmission of E. histolytica is also possible, usually in men who have sex with men since they believe in oral and anal sex.
Usually, people who live in developing countries like our country where sanitation and hygiene is poor are more likely to infect people with E. histolytica.
Amoebiasis infection is particularly common in areas of Central and South America, Africa and Asia.
However, people who become infected with E. histolytica do not develop any symptoms. But symp-toms may develop if the parasite causes in-flammation of the lining of your gut. In some people, E. histolytic can also get into the bloodstream from the gut and spread around the body to the liver, lungs and sometimes other organs. TAKE NOTE: the para-sites can still be present in the stools of infected people who are asymptomatic or who have no symptoms at all.
All in all, good hygiene is essential to prevent the spread of many infections to others and to reduce your chances of picking up infections from others. Therefore, don’t pick up anymore those foods that fell down from your plate or from the floor or ground since it’s not true what the old folks would say “okay lang na kaunon kay layo na sa tina-e” or “it’s still okay to eat that food since that’s far from your intestine” when in fact, your intestine will soon be infected if you do so.
Also, avoid tap water, ice cubes, watered down fruit juices such as fruit juices that may be sold in the street, ice cream, shellfish, eggs, salads, raw or undercooked meat, fruit that has already been peeled like those sold at any supermarket in our country, and mayonnaise or sauces. Sealed bottled water, tea and coffee are thought to be safe to drink, said the experts.
HEALTHWATCHING: To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colos-sians 1:27