A man with a parasitic infection of giardia (a microscopic parasite that can cause diarrhea, cramps and nausea) has contacted us recently about finding some kind of organism all over his home, primarily in his meats. He wonders if we can tell him what they are.
First and foremost, we must point out that this man’s infection, which he reports “has been going on for over a year”, is medical in nature. We are not medical professionals, and so we are not qualified to give out medical advice. If our reader has not done so already, he should get in contact with his doctor or an infectious disease specialist, which he can find by doing a Google search of ‘infectious disease physician (name of his closest big city)’ or ‘travel disease doctor (name of his closest big city)’.
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Secondly, our reader did provide some more context to go along with his query. He states that in dealing with giardiasis, he has been noticing the effects of giardia in most of his bowel movements. Additionally, his dog has also suffered from the same infection and effects. He reports going on antibiotics and that he feels “a bit better”, but does not state whether or not he has been cured. The organisms he has been finding now (which appear to be somewhat circular and flat in shape, and gray-black in color) have been found all around his house, and are “in the meats when” he “first” gets them. If he is implying that the worms are present in his meat upon purchase, then that would mean that these creatures are unrelated to his parasitic infection. In that case, these organisms could potentially be some kind of fluke (which are parasites of the liver or other organs found in uncooked meat), though we can not confidently identify it as such, as the organisms in our reader’s photograph are so devoid of any real characteristics that it is difficult to pinpoint any defining traits.
And so finally, we urge our reader to visit a parasite specialist. He will be able to get his current infection treated, as well as get this organism properly identified if he brings a sample. He can also go to his local county extension office or to the entomology department at the nearest university with a sample of the organisms to get more opinions on their identification. Likewise, we also recommend that he takes his dog to the vet to get it treated for giardia so that they can both be free of these parasites.
To conclude, we are not sure what our reader has found in his home. If they are not connected to his giardiasis, they could be flukes given their irregular shape and bland appearance, but since there is a chance that this is connected to his current infection, we will abstain from giving any concrete answers. All we can do is point our reader in some possible directions to get his current infection treated and these new organisms identified and dealt with.
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