Fascioliasis: A Parasitic Disease Affecting Humans, Animals, and Livestock

Fascioliasis is a parasitic disease that affects humans, animals, and livestock. It is caused by a parasitic flatworm, called a fluke, which is found in fresh water and can be transmitted to humans through contact with infected freshwater sources. The disease is spread primarily by consuming raw or undercooked aquatic organisms, including snails, fish, and mussels.

When fascioliasis is contracted by a human, it is most likely to result in gastrointestinal issues including abdominal pain and diarrhoea. It may also cause fever, jaundice, or general body weakness. People with fascioliasis tend to have high levels of eosinophils in their blood, which can indicate parasitic infection. In extreme cases, it can also lead to hepatitis or even death.

Fascioliasis is preventable and treatable. Good hygiene practices such as avoiding contaminated water sources and thoroughly cooking aquatic organisms are the main means of prevention. The antibiotic, triclabendazole, can also be used to treat fascioliasis.

Symptoms of Fascioliasis

  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fever
  • Jaundice
  • General body weakness
  • High levels of eosinophils in the blood
  • Hepatitis
  • Death (in extreme cases)

Prevention and Treatment of Fascioliasis

  • Avoid contact with contaminated water sources
  • Thoroughly cook all aquatic organisms
  • Take in antibiotic medication, such as triclabendazole