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A to Z: Amebiasis

Amebiasis (uh-mee-BYE-uh-sis) is an intestinal illness. People get it after eating, drinking, or touching something that’s contaminated with a tiny parasite called Entamoeba histolytica.

More to Know

Amebiasis is rare in the United States. It’s more common in places like Africa, Latin America, India, and Southeast Asia. 

Most of the time amebiasis doesn’t make a person sick. Some people will get belly pain, cramps, diarrhea, nausea, and a loss of appetite. A few might have a fever and bloody stools (poop).

Amebiasis is contagious. It spreads from person to person through feces (poop) that might get into food or water, or onto objects. 

Amebiasis is treated with prescription medicines to kill the parasite. 

Keep in Mind

Washing hands well and often can help stop the infection from spreading. When traveling, don’t eat raw meat or seafood or uncooked vegetables and fruit, unless you have washed them with clean water and peeled them yourself. Only drink boiled water or commercially bottled water and drinks in sealed containers. 

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.