MONTEZUMA'S REVENGE

also known as Amebic Dysentery

What is Amebic Dysentery?

Amebic Dysentery is a parasitic protist which travelers often get in other countries. The amoeba that causes it is Entamoeba histolytica.

CLASSIFICATION

Domain: Eukaryota

Kingdom: Protista

Phylum: Sarcomastigophora

Class: Lobosea

Order: Amoebida

Family: Endamoebidae

Genus: Entamoeba

Species: Entamoeba histolytica

Symptoms

There are many symptoms of Montezuma's Revenge including:


  • Diarrhea.
  • Abdominal cramps.
  • Mild to severe dehydration
  • General lack of energy, nausea, and vomiting
  • Fever, vomiting, and stools with blood or mucus

TRANSMISSION AND LOCATION

You get this disease by consuming contaminated foods or drinks. The disease can be transmitted by being in unsanitary conditions and fecal oral routes. But not always is this disease contagious.

High-risk areas for traveler's diarrhea include developing countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America.

TREATMENT


  • Let your stomach rest. Do not eat for several hours or until you are feeling better.
  • Begin eating a simple diet of bland foods, such as crackers, rice, bread, potatoes, or bananas, which usually will help slow diarrhea. After your diarrhea is gone, you may eat a regular diet again.
  • Take frequent, small sips of bottled or boiled water or a re-hydration drink and small bites of salty crackers.

PROGNOSIS

If left untreated, it can lead to serious issues and even death. It's reported that there's about 70,000 deaths worldwide each year, and many more non-fatal infections. It is usually treated with certain antimicrobial drugs, but there have been some concerns about the potential for amoeba becoming resistant. The time of infection and treatment varies from months to even years.

PREVENTION

To help reduce your chances of getting amebic dysentery, take the following steps when traveling to a country:

  • Drink only bottled water or water that has been boiled for at least one minute
  • Do not eat fresh fruit or vegetables that you do not peel yourself
  • Do not eat or drink unpasteurized milk, cheese, or dairy products
  • Do not eat or drink anything sold by street vendors