Amebiasis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

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Part I: Disease History and Profile: Outline of Disease Amebiasis can be found in any tropical or subtropical region throughout the world, and is especially prevalent in India, Mexico, South America, and Africa. Amebiasis is caused by a parasite known as Entamoeba histolytica, a parasite which can be found in contaminated water sources. The E. histolytica has a two part life cycle, existing as an infectious cyst and an amoeboid trophozoite. ( The cyst is ingested through the mouth by contaminated water sources and develops into a trophozoite in the stomach and intestines, where it eats through the mucosal lining and begins to attack the liver, causing amoebic disease. The infected person continues to pass new cysts through their stool throughout the course of infection. Some people can carry the E. histolytica parasite without experiencing any symptoms but continue to pass it on ( Those who are affected experience severe vomiting and diarrhea that often contains blood, mucous, or even pus depending on the stage of the disease. Other symptoms include stomach pain and tenderness, nausea, anorexia, and occasional fever. Young children, the elderly, and those who are immunocompromised often die from dehydration before the parasite has a chance to attack the liver. Healthy adults can usually survive beyond the initial dehydration and progress into the liver failure stage of Amebiasis, which is difficult and expensive to treat and will ultimately lead to death if left untreated. After breaking through the mucosal lining of the stomach and intestines, the parasite migrates to the liver and begins eating it, causing infected, pus oozing abscesses. Without treatment the abscesses can grow and expand until the liver fails completely. Throughout this process, the afflicted person will suffer from

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