Parasites are a huge medical problem across the globe and especially in third-world countries. We get quite a few questions from readers in the Western world who are infested with parasites, but do not seek medical help, despite having the privilege to do so.
First of all, we understand the reaction that many might immediately have upon reading this, and we are aware that seeking medical help can be absurdly expensive, and many cannot afford it without going into thousands of dollars-worth of debt. However, we would argue that one cannot and should not put a price on one’s life. Whilst those of us who have the privilege of living in the first world understandably fear debt, we should recognize that there are those in the world who would do anything to be able to go into the debt for the rest of their lives if it meant saving themselves or someone they loved. Parasites should not be underestimated, as they often are; there are parasites that are seemingly ‘harmless’ in the long-run, such as the pinworm, and there are parasites which are infamous for being deadly, such as certain species of tapeworm that can travel to the brain and cause neurological damage, but between all of the parasites one can possibly transmit, they all pose significant health risks. If not treated, a lot of parasitic infestations can eventually lead to death, in the worst cases.
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Secondly, we have even received submissions from readers who have been host to a parasite(s) for months, or even years and have not consulted a medical professional. In our opinion, those people should consider themselves lucky to be alive. This might sound harsh, but we only wish to stress the importance of treating parasites. It is easy to put a price on our own lives and think, ‘I can’t afford to go into that much debt to treat this’, but if it was your mother, or soulmate, would you agree with that statement? Plus, the longer one waits, the harder it becomes to deal with the infestation. There are parasites that are asexual, meaning they do not need a sexual partner in order to produce offspring. This means that they can lay eggs and grow in numbers inside your body and wreak even more havoc, causing health problems that damage your body beyond repair. Likewise, there are cases where people have been infested with multiple parasites at once, who can then mate and spread the infection wider.
Thirdly, there is the question of what kind of help to seek when one does discover that they have a parasite. For most health problems, one would automatically turn to one’s doctor, but in the case of parasitic infections, this might not be the best route to take. ‘Regular doctors’ and GPs usually do not receive training in parasitic infections, and are thus not equipped to identify, let alone to deal with that sort of problem. There have been several cases presented to us by our readers in which they were turned away by their doctor because they could not deal with their medical issue. And although it is understandable that most doctors cannot treat this problem themselves, we find it odd that they seldom actually reroute their patients to someone who can, because there are reputable physicians that specialize in this field and can provide accurate diagnoses and proper treatment. To find such a physician, one can simply do a Google search for ‘infectious disease specialist (name of their closest big city)’ or ‘travel disease doctor (name of their closest big city)’.
To conclude, this has been a short, cautionary article on why one should immediately seek medical help if one finds themselves infested with a parasite. Despite the fact that seeking help from medical professionals comes at such a high price, when it comes to parasites, there is no messing around. Paying for it with one’s life is a far higher price to pay, if you ask us.
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