Understanding Parasitic Infection and How to Avoid It

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Published
Jun 27, 2019

Jun 27, 2019 • by Rebecca Smith

Whether you've spent the weekend camping in the woods, didn't wash your hands or your food thoroughly enough before eating, or even if you're traveling to a foreign country, you need to be aware of a potential parasitic infection. 

But what is a parasitic infection, and how can you avoid getting one?

Additionally, what are the different ways of treating parasitic infection? 

Keep reading to find out.

What Is a Parasitic Infection?

Parasites can include bacteria, viruses, single-cell amebas, (protozoa) worms, and more. 

These parasites feed on your body's nutrients and can cause you to feel incredibly ill. These parasites can reproduce quickly and can infect different organs in your body and in the bloodstream. 

They can live inside of your organs, or they can burrow deep inside of your skin. 

Some of the most common parasites include lice, roundworm, trichomonas, fleas, ticks, mice, tapeworms, and mites. 

How to Avoid Parasitic Infection

The good news is that understanding basic parasite prevention isn't as difficult as you might fear.

Of course, the best way to avoid parasitic infection is to avoid having any kind of direct contact with an infected person. Additionally, never drink water in rivers, lakes, streams, or any other water source where you aren't certain of the cleanliness. 

Make sure you also stay tuned into public health department water risk advisories and act accordingly when risk is present by avoiding untreated tap water. 

Don't eat or drink any unpasteurized dairy products, and ensure that you always cook meat at the proper temperatures. Clean all cooking and eating utensils thoroughly, and always change any pet litter boxes daily. 

Also, make sure you check yourself for the first signs of things like a tick bite or ringworm while camping or spending time in a rural area. 

Parasitic Infection Treatment Methods

If you've somehow contracted a parasitic infection, or suspect that you have, you need to meet with a medical professional immediately. 

Usually, you'll need some sort of pharmaceutical drug treatment. The specific antifungal or antiparasitic drug you're given will depend on the kind of infection you have. 

In some cases, the infection may even disappear on its own. In other parasitic infections, unfortunately, there is currently no known cure. This is especially common in tick-borne infections. However, there are excellent methods for managing the infection. 

Think You Have a Parasitic Infection?

If you're concerned that you may have any kind of parasitic infection, don't delay in getting help. 

Your doctor may be able to stop the infection from getting worse and prevent it from becoming chronic. Additionally, you'll get much-needed relief and no longer risk transmitting the infection to another person. 

Looking for more advice on how to stay safe and smart when traveling or camping? Want to know other signs of potential health problems? 

Our blog can help you to brush up on your knowledge of family medicine. If you're currently in the medical field, our job board can also help you find the perfect position for your skills.