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Liver Flukes Infection and Treatment

liver fluke infection

Liver fluke disease is very widespread throughout the Far East and also occurs in some other parts of the world.

The disease is common in dogs and cats in these areas, but it only occurs in human who eat raw fish, or fish that has been pickeled or smoked.

These tiny flat worms are found within the bile duct of the liver, feeding upon its secretions. Liver flukes may live as long as twenty five years! Eggs passed from these worms find their way down the bile duct into the intestinal tract, where they are passed with the  stools. As in the case of intestinal flukes mentioned above, certain snail form the intermediary stage of these flukes, and man becomes infected from eating raw or partially cooked fish.

Thousand of these tiny worms may be found in the liver of an effected person. The usual complaints are indigestion, pains in the  upper abdomen, gas, nausea. The liver is enlarged and tender, and there may be a slight tendency to juandice, because of the blocking of many of the smaller bile ducts.

Liver Flukes Treatment:

Treatment is not very satisfactory for this type of infection. Gentian violet tablet are helpful in curing light infefction and reducing the numberor worms. In more chronic infection the adult dose is one tablet three times a day for thirty days. The course should be repeated every two months as needed. Chloroquine, 0.5 grams, three times a day for reducing the number of eggs found in the stools. Most important is prevention. All fresh water fish should be thoroughly cooked before eating, especially in areas where these flukes are known to be present.

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