Parasitic diseases are infections which are caused and transmitted by parasites. Parasites often target vital organs and systems, altering the normal functions of the body. Thus, parasites play the role of a transmitter of some of medical science’s most lethal and deadliest diseases. Hence, this article gives a brief background and introduction on some of the most common parasitic diseases.
Malaria is arguably the world’s deadliest disease as it kills between 1 million to 3 million people and victimizes 250 million people annually, on a worldwide scale. The infectious disease is transmitted by a female anopheles mosquito. Thus, in about a week or so or by the time the malaria infection has spread inside the body specifically in the red blood cells, the patient displays symptoms such as fever, headache and even hallucinations.
On the contrary, despite of the rapid advances in medical technology, a vaccine that can directly counteract the effects of malaria is yet to be created. Nonetheless, there are a lot of methods on how to prevent malaria such as prophylactic drugs, mosquito eradication through smoking and other similar forms of preventive measures.
Body lice Infestation
Known as Pediculosis, body lice infestation from the name itself, is caused by blood-sucking lice and other parasitic insects. There are three categorizations of pediculosis namely pediculosis capitis, pediculosis corporis and pediculosis pubis.
Pediculosis capitis or head lice is the most common form of body lice infestation and is normally seen in children 3-10 years of age, usually girls due to their long hair which shelters the lice.
Pediculosis corporis is the infection of lice in the human body. Furthermore, body lice is a far greater threat as it could result into more serious complications like typhus. Pediculosis pubis on the other hand, is the infestation of lice in the pubic hair and private part of a person’s body.
Schistosomiasis or simply Katamaya Fever is a parasitic disease that is caused by a parasitic worm called trematodes. The disease is common in places close to open waters such as lakes and rivers from where snails reside.
Symptoms of this chronic disease includes abdominal pain, diarrhea, cough, fever, fatigue and genital sores among others.
Amoebiasis is caused by amoeba and normally infects the gastrointestinal tract of humans. This parasitic disease is transmitted in a variety of ways and according to the World Health Organization (WHO) amoebiasis causes 70,000 deaths annually worldwide.