Although the water in your home goes through a filtration process before reaching your tap, there are often contaminants that are not cleaned out the way they should be. Unfortunately, there may be dangerous parasites in your water. Here are some of the common parasites that could be in your drinking water.
What are Parasites?
A parasite is an organism that lives on or in another organism called the host. The parasite feeds on the host and relies on them for their own survival at the other’s expense. Parasites can enter our bodies through food, drink, or contact with infected animals or places.
Cryptosporidium, or crypto, makes its way into lakes and rivers through sewage and animal and human waste. It can survive a long time in the water without a host. Once it is swallowed, however, it begins to feed on the host. For those with a weak immune system, a crypto infection can be life-threatening. In most cases, however, it takes about one to two weeks to subside without medication.
This parasite, typically called giardia, can spread quickly and easily especially among children. This parasite can also live outside of the host for several months. When the host swallows it, it can attach to the small intestine and reproduce rapidly, causing a dangerous infection called a giardia infection.
This infection is one of the most common parasitic infections. It can affect infants and cause uncomfortable symptoms but may show less or no signs in adults. Once it is ingested, this parasite enters the bloodstream. The infection can spread through contaminated water and dirt, uncooked meat, cat feces, fruit and vegetables, organ transplants, and blood transfusions.
This parasite feeds on the host to strengthen itself while harming and weakening the host’s body. It causes illness, weakness, and poor nutrient absorption in the host. When people swallow these parasites, the larvae move from the intestines to the skin, causing sores. It can take up to a few years to get rid of symptoms from this parasite.
This parasite can cause amoebiasis, or amebic dysentery. This sickness can cause abdominal pains or problems such as diarrhea, gas, and tenderness. In some cases, the infection can spread through the bloodstream, to the liver, or in extreme cases to the lungs, brain, or other organs.