Parasites That We Should Watch For During A Trip

When we are going to distant countries, especially in developing areas; it is possible that we encounter multiple small organisms that we don’t find at home. Here are organisms that we should watch for:

Parasites That We Should Watch For During A Trip

  • Giardia Lamblia: This is a common organism that’s found in many places. It can be spread through faces and may be found in contaminated water and food. This could happen when we travel in overcrowded places with poor water quality and sanitary situation. Backpackers and campers can be vulnerable, because they could stay in less clean areas. Even streams in mountainous regions could still be contaminated with animal waste; so we should be aware when obtaining water from nature. The easiest and safest way to treat water is by boiling it. Giardia Lamblia stays inside our intestines and it will reproduce, while obtaining nutrients from our gastrointestinal system. In general, we should follow sensible precautions and practice good hygiene.
  • Leishmaniasis: It is commonly found in Souther Europe and other sub-tropic areas. It could also be found in Middle East and South America. People who are vulnerable to this parasite could be adventure travellers, eco tourists and bird watchers. This could happen when they often stay outdoor during various activities. The vector of Leishmaniasis is female phletobomine sand fly. This insect is a night feeder and we could be more vulnerable during dusk. However, unsuspecting hikers could be bitten by the fly during the day, when they brush against the resting places of these flies. Unlike mosquitoes, sand flies are silent and infection can be unnoticed. These flies are also much smaller than standard mosquitoes and their bites are much less noticeable. We could avoid getting infected by avoid travelling to areas known to have sand flies.
  • Ascaris lumbricoides: It is a large roundworm or nematode. It stays inside our intestines. This worm may grow to up to 35-inch long. It could produce hundreds of thousands of eggs each day inside our body, which will be released through our feces. Eggs could also hatch inside our body and the larvae could move inside our body. In more serious cases, roundworm infestation could cause intestinal blockage, which is a nasty thing to have. It is important to take the appropriate preventive measures. As an example, we should avoid touching soil when travelling to different countries. Hands should be washed with soap, before we touch something that we want to eat. When washing, we should make sure that we use clean water.
  • Cimex lectularius: Bed bugs or cimex lectularius are less dangerous parasites but they are infamous enough. These insects are true travel experts and they could go to many different places through air travel. These insects could be picked up in hotel beds and they may end up to our own bed, thousands of miles away. Bed bugs can reside in our clothing and hair, so it is important to make sure we choose cleaner hotels that regularly wash the bed sheets.
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