Parasites are living things that use other living things — such as your body — for food and a place for them to live. You can get them from contaminated food or water, a bug bite, or sexual contact. Some parasitic diseases are easily treated, however; there are others that are a challenge to treat.
Parasites range in size from small, one-celled organisms referred to as protozoa to worms that can be seen with the naked eye. Contaminated water supplies can also lead to Giardia Infections. Cats can transmit toxoplasmosis, which is dangerous for pregnant women. Others, such as malaria, are common in some parts of the world.
If you’re traveling, it’s important for you to drink only water you know is safe. Prevention is especially important. There are no vaccines for parasitic diseases. Some medicines are available to treat parasitic infections.