Amoeba Infection

Amoeba infection is caused by a parasite, a so-called amoeba, which is mainly spread through contaminated water and food. The infection can cause diarrhea which can sometimes be bloody. Amöban is more common outside Europe. Seek care if you suspect you have been infected.

The amoeba infection is caused by a parasite called Entamoeba histolytica. It is more common in Asia, South America and Africa than in Europe.

Symptoms of amoeba infection

The infection can go on without symptoms or with diarrhea, sometimes bloody and mucous, sometimes. You may also get stomach upset.

In some cases, the parasite spreads in the body and then usually produces bulges in the liver. You will have a fever, abdominal pain and your general condition will be affected.

When and where should I seek care?

You should contact a health care center or call the medical advice if you have symptoms of stomach upset and are not allowed to keep any drink. Then you risk getting a fluid deficiency.

You should also contact the healthcare provider:

  • If you are very tired and weak.
  • If you have bloody diarrhea.
  • If you have high fever and freeze.
  • If you have severe stomach pain or recurrent vomiting.
  • If you are taking medication due to any serious illness.

Investigations

Amoeba infection is a so-called infection-traceable disease according to the Infection Protection Act . You are therefore obliged to participate in infection detection.

If the doctor suspects that you have an amoeba infection, you may leave stool samples.

If the doctor suspects a bulge in the liver, do them an ultrasound examination. They also take a blood test that shows any antibodies to the amoeba.

How does the amoeba become infected?

Almost all people with amoeba infection have been infected during extended stay in tropical or subtropical areas.

Amoeba infection is transmitted through food or drink containing the amoeba parasite. It can also be infected through close contact with an infected person. An infected person is most at risk of diarrhea. Therefore, be extra careful to wash your hands after a toilet visit and keep the toilet clean.

The time from infection to symptoms is usually two to four weeks, but can vary from a few days to several months. You can carry the infection for several years.

The parasite can live in the intestine of humans and is usually transmitted via contaminated water and food, such as raw vegetables. It can survive several weeks outside the body by forming so-called cysts. These can withstand water chlorination, but do not boil or heat above 50 degrees for five minutes.

What can I do for myself?

If you travel to areas outside Europe, you can prevent amoeba infection by:

  • Eat well cooked or cooked food.
  • Avoid raw seafood and raw fish. 
  • Avoid foods that have been left standing for a long time. 
  • Peel or rinse fruit.
  • Wash your hands in connection with meals and after toilet visits.
  • Drink water from unbroken plastic or glass packs, or drink water boiled for a quarter and then quickly cooled down.

If you have become infected, it is important to keep this in mind:

  • Don’t work when you have diarrhea.
  • If your child is sick, stay home from child care or school.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after toilet visits, before handling food and before meals.
  • Use liquid soap and your own towel.
  • Make sure the toilet seat and washbasin are clean.
  • If your diaper child is infected, wash your hands carefully after changing diapers. Clean the changing table and discard diapers in plastic bags and then in the garbage.
  • Do not bathe in the pool until at least a week has passed since the diarrhea ceased and the stools become normal.
  • If you work with unpackaged foods, you are obliged by European food law to immediately notify your supervisor of your infection.

Treatment of amoeba infection

Amoeba infection is treated with antibiotics .

Influence and participate in your care

You can  seek care at any medical center or open specialist clinic  you want throughout the country. Sometimes referral to the open specialized care is required  .

You should understand the information

In order for you to be involved in your care and treatment, it is important that you  understand the information you receive  from the healthcare staff. Ask questions if you don’t understand. For example, you should receive information about treatment options and  how long you may have to wait for care and treatment .

Children should also be involved in their care. The older the child, the more important it is.

You have the opportunity to get help from an interpreter. You also have the opportunity to  get help from an interpreter if you have a hearing loss. 

If you need tools, you should get information about what is available and how to get it.

Your consent is important

Once you have received information about what options and options for care you have, you can give your consent or in some other way express a yes. This also applies to you who are not of legal age .  

You may  choose not to give your consent to the care you are offered. You may also withdraw your consent at any time.

You can get a new medical assessment

You may get a new medical assessment from another doctor if you have a life-threatening or particularly serious illness. Obtaining another doctor’s assessment can help you, for example, if you are unsure of which treatment of amoeba infection is best for you.

You can get a regular health care contact

If you have contact with many different people within the care, you can have a permanent care contact. It is a person who among other things helps to coordinate your care.

Children should be able to participate 

There is no age limit for when a child can have influence over their care. The child’s ability to participate is  related to the child’s maturity.

The older the child, the more important it is for them to be involved in their care. In order to be active in the care and to make decisions, it is important that you as an adult and the child understand the information you receive from the care staff.

You have the opportunity to  interpret other languages. You also have the option of  interpreting assistance if, for example, one of you has a hearing impairment .

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