Blastocystis hominis. Quite the peculiar name, isn’t it? Many are left bewildered by it and often question what blasto truly is. To shed light on this, blasto is fundamentally a parasite that, in certain cases, can seriously affect the individual’s intestinal tract, presenting a range of signs and symptoms. This parasite can transfer from humans or animals to hosts, with various animals like rats, chickens, cows, dogs, cats, and even wild animals being susceptible. Characterized by its tough shell, it can survive outside the intestinal tract for extended periods. This means it can be acquired through various means like contaminated soil, water, or from animal fecal matter. Common sources of contamination include shared utensils and especially water.
Blasto is prevalent in many developed nations. Given its widespread nature, many individuals have been diagnosed with a Blastocystis hominis infection after undergoing stool tests. Recognizing this condition is pivotal because individuals could be presenting digestive issues to healthcare professionals who might overlook testing for blasto. We underscore the importance of personal hygiene, like handwashing, especially when traveling. Factors such as the water you consume, food choices, and overall cleanliness play significant roles. For instance, swimming in certain municipal pools or consuming water from unhygienic sources can expose you to this parasite. As we’ve noted, blasto thrives outside the digestive tract for quite a while, predominantly affecting the large intestine.
Its transmission routes are numerous: from human-to-human, animal-to-human, and the best preventive measure is maintaining personal hygiene. We’ve observed numerous cases, from children to adults, where the infection’s duration varies from a couple of months to a staggering 10 years. Through this series, our goal is to equip you with knowledge on tackling this infection, understanding how to eliminate it, and preventive measures for the future.
Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes. Please consult with your healthcare professional for personalized advice.