A parasitic infection, or parasitosis, is an infection caused by a parasite, a small organism that lives in or on you and survives from the nutrients in your body. Parasites may enter your body through food or water or through your skin, or they may live on your skin. While some parasites are harmless, others cause disease.
Overview and Symptoms
Examples of parasitic disease include malaria, Chagas disease, intestinal worms or lice.
Symptoms of parasitic infections vary widely, depending on the type of parasite involved. Symptoms can range from swelling, rash or itching to stomach ache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and fever. Left untreated, some parasitic infections can be very dangerous.
Parasitic infections can often be diagnosed with a blood test, a stool test or endoscopy to look for the presence of a parasite in your intestines, an even through diagnostic imaging such as an X-ray or CT scan, to look for evidence of a parasite inside your body.
Treatment depends on the type of parasitic infection. In general, your doctor will prescribe medication to treat your infection. Other treatments can help reduce symptoms, like drinking plenty of water to reduce the risk of becoming dehydrated when your infections causes diarrhea.
Infectious DiseasesThe Division of Infectious Diseases is dedicated to offering the highest quality, most compassionate care to help you manage your condition.