Information for Patients
Parasites are living things that use other living things - like your body - for food and a place to live. You can get them from contaminated food or water, a bug bite, or sexual contact. Some parasitic diseases are easily treated and some are not.
Parasites range in size from tiny, one-celled organisms called protozoa to worms that can be seen with the naked eye. Some parasitic diseases occur in the United States. Contaminated water supplies can lead to Giardia infections. Cats can transmit toxoplasmosis, which is dangerous for pregnant women. Others, like malaria, are common in other parts of the world.
If you are traveling, it's important 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.
Urinary Tract Infections
The urinary system is the body's drainage system for removing wastes and extra water. It includes two kidneys, two ureters, a bladder, and a urethra. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the second most common type of infection in the body.
You may have a UTI if you notice
- Pain or burning when you urinate
- Fever, tiredness, or shakiness
- An urge to urinate often
- Pressure in your lower belly
- Urine that smells bad or looks cloudy or reddish
- Pain in your back or side below the ribs
People of any age or sex can get UTIs. But about four times as many women get UTIs as men. You're also at higher risk if you have diabetes, need a tube to drain your bladder, or have a spinal cord injury.
If you think you have a UTI it is important to see your doctor. Your doctor can tell if you have a UTI with a urine test. Treatment is with antibiotics.
NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases