Isosporiasis is an infection caused by micro-organism that affects your intestine causing diarrhea and malnutrition. This infection spreads mainly through feces and gets into food or water when people handling feces do not wash their hands properly. Some people can get this disease through oral or anal sex also from infected person. It is a rare disease in the American states and is reported to occur in the tropical regions of the continents where there is possibility of water contamination.

Symptoms :

Developing diarrhea is the first symptom of isosporiasis. The affected person will pass watery stool and may have vomiting. Subsequently he/she may develop dehydration, loss of appetite and loss of weight. Flatulence or fullness of stomach is also seen during this period.

Causes :

The parasite by name Cystoisospora belli causes this infectious disease. It attacks the soft lining of small intestine causing diarrhea and loss of appetite. The main reason for developing this infection is by mixing the feces of infected person with food or water bodies. Day care workers who are handling diapers of infected infants can easily spread the infection if they are not washing their hands properly.

Diagnosis :

The doctor will look into the symptoms and also check the prevalence of infection in that area. He may order for analysis of stool sample under a microscope to identify the parasite. In some cases endoscopy is done to get clear picture of the intestine.

Treatment :

Suitable drugs like trimethoprim or sulfamethoxazole are prescribed for Isosporiasis. The same medicine is to be continued for 2-3 weeks (2-3 times a day) or as prescribed by your doctor. Some patients (with HIV or AIDS) may develop allergy to this drug causing fever and rash. In that case, dosage of the drug is reduced considerably. For severe cases of allergy the doctor may give combination of pyrimethamine and folinic acid. To manage diarrhea drugs like lomotil or loperamide can be taken. For people with abdominal cramps ibuprofen is effective.

Tips for Prevention :

One can easily prevent Isosporiasis by taking suitable precautions while handling food and water. Since this infection spreads mainly through contaminated food or water one should take enough care not to mix feces with any kind of food.

People who eat or drink contaminated food or water can easily develop Isosporiasis. Tourists can develop this infection while visiting the regions of tropical areas. Make sure that you are washing your hands properly each time you are handling baby diapers and while handling feces of infected patients. Children should be educated about the importance of washing hands.

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