Considering the nasty pictures of parasites on the Internet in magazines, many think this problem will definitely not affect them. But it wasn't like that, everyone can get infected with parasites! It has been proven that during their lifetime almost all people, at least once, become "home" to helminths, protozoa.
How then to be? The solution to the problem is competent prevention, which we will discuss in this article.
About parasites in numbers and facts
Despite the development of modern medicine, the prevention of parasitosis remains relevant to this day.The following numbers and facts prove the need for preventive measures:
- According to WHO, more than 4, 5 billion people suffer from parasitosis in the world. Parasites cause 16 million deaths every year.
- In Europe, one in three inhabitants is affected by parasitic infestations.
- More than 70% of people in our country are infected with toxoplasma - parasites that can cause visual impairment and neurological disorders.
- Every year, at least 20% of children attending educational and educational institutions become ill with helminthiasis.
- A person can be attacked simultaneously by up to 15 species of protozoa and more than 250 species of various worms. Helminthiases are responsible for about 89% of all parasitic invasions.
The parasites are capable of infecting not only the digestive tract, but also other vital organs - heart, liver, kidneys and brain. Traveling through the body, they cause mechanical damage to organs and tissues, blockage of the bile ducts, and inflammatory processes. In addition, they can cause decreased immunity, allergic reactions and oncology.
What are the types of parasites?
There are many parasitic diseases. The most common are:
- geohelminthiasis- diseases caused by parasites that carry out one of the life cycles in the soil. The eggs of these parasites can survive in the ground for up to 7 years, surviving severe frosts and remaining invasive;
- zooanthroposis- parasitic infestations that affect humans and animals;
- pure anthroposes- specific diseases for humans only.
Separately, among the parasitic invasions, contagious diseases are distinguished, in which the parasites can be transmitted from person to person.
How can a person get infected with parasites?
The sources of parasitic diseases can be:
- household items in an apartment, public places, transportation;
- food products - poorly washed vegetables, fruits, raw or poorly processed meat, fish. Especially often, parasite infestation is observed in summer, when we enrich the diet with vitamins: fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs. These products may contain soil grains and therefore parasite eggs;
- tap water, water from rivers, lakes. When swimming in a pond, parasites can enter the human body through the skin, mucous membranes, as a result of drinking water;
- Pets. All pet owners have a high probability of contracting zooanthroposes;
- sandboxes for children. For example, in children's litter boxes, animal feces can be found, which means that there is a possibility of helminth infection.
A common cause of parasite infestation is poor personal hygiene.Infection can occur if you do not wash your hands after visiting public places, going to the bathroom, handling money, working in the yard, cooking fish, meat, salads.
There are several professions in which people, due to the nature of their work, have a high probability of becoming infected with parasites. These specialists include plumbers, cattle farm workers, agricultural companies, the food industry and land cleaners.
There are also parasites that are carried by insects. For example, flies, mosquitoes.
Community Principles of Parasite Prevention
In the territory of our country, about 1 million patients with parasitic diseases are registered annually. In this regard, preventive measures have been developed to prevent the spread of parasites. Basic principles of prevention include:
- Identification and timely treatment of patients with parasitosis.A person healed in a timely manner poses no threat to others.
- Timely destruction of pathogens from parasitic invasions by disinfection and disinfection methods.This includes disinfecting waste water, food and repelling insects from public places. For example, treating mosquito resting places can prevent diseases such as heartworm disease.
- Protection of the environment from pollution by substrates containing parasites.First, it is about the timely disinfection of the pits, avoiding the use of fresh animal faeces in agriculture as fertilizers. These requirements are enshrined at the legislative level and must be strictly followed.
- Prevention of parasitic invasions with the help of chemotherapeutic agents.For example, when traveling to the tropics or places where malaria is endemic, it is necessary to use antimalarial drugs. These means prevent the development of malaria, even with a possible infection. The same can be said for professional population groups. Livestock farm workers, agricultural farms at certain periods are recommended for chemoprophylaxis of parasitic infestations.
- Immunoprophylaxis or population immunization in foci of development of parasitic invasions.This measure is more related to the prevention of infection by protozoa than by helminthiasis.
- Improve the general health culture of the population.
Personal prevention measures for parasites
There is no magic remedy that can protect a person from all parasite invasions. Preventing parasite infestation is multifaceted and includes many aspects. Prevention measures depend on the type of parasite, its development cycle, and how it enters the human body.
However, the basic rules that reduce the risk of developing parasitic infections can be highlighted:
- observance of personal hygiene: careful hand washing after visiting public places, contact with pets, before eating;
- regular wet cleaning of the apartment with disinfectants;
- regular boiling of bed and underwear;
- purchase of meat products in authorized commercial establishments;
- sufficient heat treatment of meat, fish, which should be at least 30 minutes. Furthermore, an effective way to combat parasites is to pre-freeze fish and meat;
- meticulous washing and boiling water treatment of vegetables, fruits, herbs;
- bottled and boiled drinking water;
- protect food from insects;
- regular screening for parasites.
Plants that can protect against parasites
An effective measure for the prevention of infection by helminths, protozoa is the enrichment of the diet with plants, spices with antiparasitic action.To date, more than 50 plant species are known to have a detrimental effect on parasites:
- calamus roots. The plant is able to infect the nervous system of parasites and expel them from tissues, organs;
- marshmallow roots. It acts on parasites that live in blood and muscle tissue;
- basil leaves and stems. The antiparasitic action of basil is similar to that of marshmallows;
- berries, stems, leaves, roots of barberry. The plant is especially effective against parasites that affect the liver;
- Clove. The effectiveness of cloves against parasites has been known since ancient times. Cloves are harmful to flat, ribbon, round, and protozoan worms. Furthermore, it is effective against bacteria and viruses;
- Grenade. Not only the pomegranate fruits have an antiparasitic effect, but also the rind. Pomegranate husks can be used to make tea;
- roots, elecampane flowers. They kill parasites that affect the digestive tract and nervous system. In addition, the plant removes toxins from the body;
- the aerial part of the oregano, which is used to make teas. The plant has a detrimental effect on protozoa, fungi, opportunistic microorganisms;
- St. John's Wort. Actively fights luminal parasites that live in the interstitial space of the large intestine;
- ginger roots. They are capable of expelling parasites from the respiratory system, from the gastrointestinal tract. The plant not only has antiparasitic, but also anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating properties;
- fruits, seeds, flowers of viburnum. The plant expels parasites from the bronchopulmonary, urogenital tree, from the gastrointestinal tract. Furthermore, it has an anti-inflammatory effect;
- cardamom seeds. They act powerfully in the larval stages of parasites, protozoa, have an antifungal effect;
- Coriander seeds (cilantro) are a common herb often used in salads. It expels intestinal parasites well;
- cinnamon. Does not lose its antiparasitic properties even after heat treatment;
- nettle. Effective against parasites affecting the skin, intestines, respiratory organs;
- incense. It has a particularly harmful effect on parasites in the respiratory and nervous system;
- roots, leaves, stems of common burdock. Promote the elimination of parasites located in the bronchopulmonary tree, the lymphatic system.
Watercress, red pepper, sesame, alfalfa, raspberry, juniper, birch, field mint, wormwood, dandelion, parsley, tansy, chamomile, rhubarb, walnut leaves, fennel, garlic also act destructively on the parasites.
Plants with antiparasitic properties should only be used in prophylactic doses.For example, plants like St. John's wort, yarrow and tansia are poisonous in large amounts and an overdose of them is dangerous. If you are unsure about the safety of a specific plant, consult an expert.
Separately, it is worth insisting on the action of garlic. Among the popular remedies for parasites, garlic enemas occupy one of the first places. But actually, this method is ineffective and very dangerous. Most parasites live in the small intestine, which is unaffected by the enema. A possible complication after a garlic enema is a burn of the intestinal mucosa.