Parasites; The United States is fast becoming a fertile breeding ground for these silent, but sometimes, lethal organisms, which are found in water, on land, and in the air.
Dr Oz The Kissing Bug
The Assassin Bug - Kissing Bug; - The Kissing Bug defecates where it bites you. You get the parasite from the poop of the kissing bug which is deposited into the bite, hence the name the Assassin.
The bite of the Kissing Bug can be mistaken for herpes zoster, erythema multiforme and the ubiquitous catch-all diagnoses of "spider-bite." The Kissing Bug infects you with the Trypanosoma cruzi parasite, and it is not treated, you can develop chronic Chagas disease in which your heart muscle, esophagus, and colon can become inflamed and dilated, leading to heart failure and stroke.
Infected bugs are found in the Southern US, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 300,000 people were infected with the parasite that causes it in 2009. Rare in the United States, the incidence of Chagas disease is increasing.
Chagas DiseaseAccording to the CDC Chagas Disease:
Chagas disease is named after the Brazilian physician Carlos Chagas, who discovered the disease in 1909. It is caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, which is transmitted to animals and people by insect vectors that are found only in the Americas (mainly, in rural areas of Latin America where poverty is widespread). Chagas disease (T. cruzi infection) is also referred to as American trypanosomiasis, South American trypanosomiasis.
Chagas disease is caused by a parasite. It is common in Latin America but not in the United States. Infected blood-sucking bugs, sometimes called kissing bugs, spread it. When an infected bug bites you, usually on your face, it leaves behind infected waste. You can get the infection if you rub it in your eyes or nose, the bite wound or a cut. The disease can also spread through contaminated food, a blood transfusion, a donated organ or from mother to baby during pregnancy.
If you notice symptoms, they might include;
A swollen eyelid
Chagas disease has an acute and a chronic phase. If untreated, infection is lifelong.
Acute Chagas disease occurs immediately after infection, may last up to a few weeks or months, and parasites may be found in the circulating blood. Infection may be mild or asymptomatic. There may be fever or swelling around the site of inoculation (where the parasite entered into the skin or mucus membrane). Rarely, acute infection may result in severe inflammation of the heart muscle or the brain and lining around the brain.
Following the acute phase, most infected people enter into a prolonged asymptomatic form of disease (called “chronic indeterminate”) during which few or no parasites are found in the blood. During this time, most people are unaware of their infection. Many people may remain asymptomatic for life and never develop Chagas-related symptoms. However, an estimated 30% of infected people will develop debilitating and sometimes life-threatening medical problems over the course of their lives.
The early (or acute) phase of chronic disease often does not have symptoms, but the chronic phase may cause an irregular heartbeat, an enlarged heart, congestive heart failure, difficulty swallowing, and abdominal pain and constipation.
Complications of chronic Chagas disease may include:
heart rhythm abnormalities that can cause sudden death;
a dilated heart that doesn’t pump blood well;
a dilated esophagus or colon, leading to difficulties with eating or passing stool.
Dr Oz Hookworms
Hookworms get into the skin by burrowing into the blood vessels, then make their way to the lungs and move on up towards your mouth. They do this so they can go down into your intestinal tract. As Mike Leahy says they can bleed you to death.
The hookworm is a parasitic nematode worm that lives in the small intestine of its host, which may be a mammal such as a dog, cat, or human. Two species of hookworms commonly infect humans, Ancylostoma duodenale and Necator americanus. In the Southern United States they can be found in sand and soil. They can get under your skin and, left untreated, lead to anemia. Worldwide some 740 million people are infected with them says Dr Oz.
Hookworms are much smaller than the large roundworm, The most significant risk of hookworm infection is anemia, secondary to loss of iron (and protein) in the gut. The worms suck blood voraciously and damage the mucosa.
Signs And Symptoms Of Hookworms
There are no specific symptoms or signs of hookworm infection. Larval invasion of the skin might give rise to intense, local itching, usually on the foot or lower leg, which can be followed by lesions that look like insect bites, can blister ("ground itch"), and last for a week or more.
Initial symptoms can include a rash at the infection site. If someone is infected with a large number of worms, it can lead to anemia, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, and weight loss.
Animal hookworm larvae on penetrating humans may produce a creeping eruption called cutaneous larva migrans. The larvae migrate in tortuous tunnels in between stratum germinativum and stratum corneum of the skin, causing serpigenous vesicular lesions. With advancing movement of the larvae, the rear portions of the lesions become dry and crusty. The lesions are typically intensely pruritic.
Coughing, chest pain, wheezing, and fever will sometimes be experienced by people who have been exposed to very large numbers of larvae. Epigastric pains, indigestion, nausea vomiting, constipation, and diarrhea can occur early or in later stages as well, although gastrointestinal symptoms tend to improve with time. Signs of advanced severe infection are those of anemia and protein deficiency, including emaciation, cardiac failure and abdominal distension with ascites.
The Bulinus Snail
Swimmers Itch; While the snails are in the water, parasites infect them, mature to adulthood and are then released back into the water to look for human hosts. When they meet up with you, they burrow into your skin and find their way to your bloodstream, from where they have an all access pass to your vital organs.
Schistosomiasis, it can attack your bladder, liver, lungs, intestine and brain leading to internal organ damage.
Urinary schistosomiasis (caused by S. haematobium) the eggs cause damage to the urinary tract and blood appears in the urine. Urination becomes painful and there is progressive damage to the bladder, ureters and kidneys. Bladder cancer is common in advanced cases.
Intestinal schistosomiasis (caused by S. mansoni, S. japonicum and S. mekongi) develops more slowly. There is progressive enlargement of the liver and spleen as well as damage to the intestine, caused by fibrotic lesions around the schistosome eggs lodged in these tissues and hypertension of the abdominal blood
Dr Oz had a quest on the show today who suffered from Schistosomiasis. It wasn't discovered until 5 years after being infected with this parasitic disease. Dr's thought he had an inner ear infection as he started feeling dizzy and couldn't drive.
After testing and an MRI they found a mass on his brain