Parasitic infections occur when a parasite is transmitted from a host or vector to a person or animal. The vector could be an insect or animal. The parasite does not usually harm the vector but would attack the person it is transmitted to. This could result in an infection or disease. It is important to note that not all diseases or infections are caused by parasites.
In Nigeria, there are several of such parasitic infections, and a lot of people, particularly those who live in rural communities, are more vulnerable to them. In today’s article, we will be looking at some common infections caused by parasites in Nigeria.
This is because it is caused by the plasmodium parasite, which is carried by the female Anopheles mosquito. When this species of mosquito bites you to suck your blood, they release the plasmodium parasite into the person’s bloodstream, resulting in an infection.
Malaria has flu-like symptoms and could also include fever, rising temperature, vomiting, loss of appetite, and so on. While there is no readily-available vaccine for malaria, several medications can be used to treat it.
2. Sleeping Sickness
Sleeping sickness, or African Trypanosomiasis, is another disease that is caused by parasite infection. The vector for the trypanosome parasite is the tsetse fly, which can be found in parts of sub-Saharan Africa, like Nigeria.
These days, the number of reported sleep sickness infections continues to reduce each passing year, meaning the infection is not as widespread as it used to be, but one can still get it.
Early detection of sleeping sickness is very important so that treatment can begin fast.
3. River Blindness
River blindness is an infection caused by Onchocerca volvulus, which is a parasitic worm. The work is transmitted by black flies, which can be found mainly around rivers and streams.
Some common symptoms of the disease include intense rashes, bumps under the skin, and redness. It could also lead to partial or total blindness in severe cases.
Scabies is a skin condition that is caused by the presence of a mite burrowing under the skin. This could lead to intense itching, and it is very contagious.
The mite is a parasite that could be spread through various means, such as sharing clothes with someone who has the infection.
Scabies is self-diagnosable and treatable. In most cases, it should resolve within a few days or weeks.
5. Tapeworm Infection
Tapeworm infection is caused by tapeworm, which is a kind of flatworm. It is a parasite that stays in the intestine but may spread to other parts of the body if left unchecked.
It is spread when people drink water or eat food that has been contaminated with tapeworm eggs or larvae.
In some cases, people do not need treatment as the tapeworm would exit the body on its own. There are also approved treatments that someone can use to get rid of it.
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