Health Problems Parasites are organisms that need a host to live. Parasitic infections can happen to anyone, including children. Some types of parasites can live outside the human body and some live inside the human body.
According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are three main classes of parasites that can cause disease in humans: helminths, protozoa, and ectoparasites. Ectoparasites refer to organisms such as ticks or mites that attach to or burrow into human skin.
Health problems caused by parasites should not be underestimated as they can also lead to more serious conditions. The following is an explanation of health problems caused by parasites that have been summarized from the CDC.
1. Head lice
Head lice are parasites that suck blood several times a day and live near the human scalp. As a result of the tick bite causes an itchy reaction on the scalp. Lice hold the strands of hair tightly with claws that look like hooks. Adult lice attach their eggs to the base of the hair shaft near the scalp.
Head lice most often attack children. Head lice move on all fours and cannot jump or fly. Lice can be spread to other people through close contact with an infected person.
Scabies or scabies in humans is caused by a tiny mite called Sarcoptes scabiei var. hominist . The mites will burrow into the top layer of skin to live and lay their eggs there. This condition causes the skin to feel very itchy, especially at night and the appearance of a red rash on the skin.
scabies generally occurs in thin skin areas, such as between the fingers, wrist skin folds, elbows, knees, armpits, waist, and groin. The scabies mite is highly contagious and spreads through direct skin-to-skin contact with people with scabies.
There are several parasitic worms that can infect humans. Several types of worms that are parasitic in the human intestine include roundworms and pinworms.
The IDAI page states that worms can be transmitted through food contaminated with worm eggs or also through soil. In pinworm infection, adult pinworms will go to the anus when laying eggs, causing itching around the anus. Eggs can transfer to fingers, nails, or stick to clothing and bed linen where they can infect other people.
Malaria is a serious disease caused by a parasite that is transmitted through mosquito bites. There are four types of parasites that cause malaria in humans, namely Plasmodium falciparum , P. vivax , P. ovale , and P. malariae . A person can become infected with malaria when bitten by an infected female Anopheles mosquito .
Those infected with malaria can experience fever, chills, and a flu-like condition. If left untreated, malaria can lead to a more serious and fatal condition.
Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii . Toxoplasma infection can occur from eating undercooked food, eating contaminated food, or accidentally ingesting the parasite after coming into contact with cat feces that contain the parasite.
The toxoplasma parasite can infect anyone, but few people complain of being sick because the immune system is able to withstand the parasite. More severe conditions can occur in women infected with the Toxoplasma parasite during pregnancy or in people with compromised immune systems.
Some health problems caused by parasites include head lice, scabies, intestinal worms, malaria, and toxoplasmosis. Some of these conditions cannot be ignored because they can cause more serious problems.