Be careful! Balantidium coli Parasite Infection Can Be Deadly

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Be careful! Balantidium coli Parasite Infection Can Be Deadly
Be careful! Balantidium coli Parasite Infection Can Be Deadly

Balantidium coli is a parasite that can attack the digestive tract and cause balantidiasis. This disease is rarely found in humans, because Balantidium coli infects pigs more often. Even so, you still need to be aware of the transmission

A person can be exposed to Balantidium coli by coming into contact with pig manure or consuming food or drink contaminated with the parasite. Not only that, poor nutritional status, a weak immune system, or certain diseases can also make a person susceptible to Balantidium coli infection.

Careful! Balantidium coli Parasite Infection Can Be Deadly - Alodokter

Symptoms of Balantidium coli infection

Most people with Balantidium coli infection do not experience any symptoms or only experience mild symptoms, such as diarrhea that alternates with constipation. However, this parasite can also cause severe inflammation, followed by damage to the colon wall. This condition can cause symptoms, such as:

  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • stomach pain
  • bloody diarrhea

In people whose immune systems are weak or compromised, symptoms of a Balantidium coli infection that may occur are:

  • Prolonged diarrhea
  • Dysentery
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • stomach pain or heartburn
  • Halitosis
  • Weight loss

In more severe cases, Balantidium coli infection can cause complications in the form of intestinal perforation which can eventually lead to inflammation of the lining of the inner wall of the stomach (peritonitis). This condition must be treated immediately because it can cause death.

Balantidium coli Infection Treatment

If the stool examination is found to have a Balantidium coli infection, the doctor will provide specific treatment to kill this parasite. The goal of treatment is to reduce symptoms while preventing complications. Some drugs that may be prescribed by a doctor to treat a Balantidium coli infection include:

  • Tetracycline
  • Metronidazole
  • Iodoquinol
  • Nitazoxanide

Under certain conditions, surgery may also be required if the Balantidium coli parasite causes acute appendicitis. The operation performed in this case is appendectomy.

Prevention of Balantidium coli infection

A clean lifestyle is the best step to prevent Balantidium coli infection. Some examples of clean living patterns that you can apply are:

  • Wash your hands with soap immediately after touching animals or working in an environment with lots of animals, such as a zoo or farm.
  • Wash your hands immediately after using the bathroom, after changing a child's diaper, and before or after preparing food.
  • Use hand sanitizer or hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available to reduce parasites or germs on your hands.
  • Wash all fruits and vegetables with clean water when you want to process or consume them.
  • Cook the meat until it is completely cooked to prevent exposure to the balandtium coli parasite found in food.
  • Drink properly boiled water.

By applying the various methods above, you can avoid exposure to the Balantidium coli parasite. Although infection with this parasite is rare in humans, consult a doctor immediately if you experience symptoms of a Balantidium coli infection to be sure.

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