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A Prevalence Study of Intestinal Parasites in Southern Belize

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Technical Report

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Uniformed Services University Of The Health Sciences Bethesda United States

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A biomedical survey of stool specimens from 82 of the population n672 of 5 villages in Toledo District, Belize were examined by the formalin-ethyl acetate concentration technique for the prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections. Seventy-six percent of the population was infected. The most common infection was hookworm 55, followed by Ascaris lumbricoides 30, Entamoeba coli 21, Trichuris trichiura 19, Giardia lamblia 12, and Entamoeba histolytica 6. The mean age of infected persons was 19 years. The frequency of infections was higher in younger age groups. Females had higher prevalence of hookworm infection than males. The living conditions of 111 surveyed households were characterized as 60 with dirt floor, 43 without toilets, 35 in overcrowded living condition, 10 using stream water and 16 drinking untreated water. A cross-tabulation and logistic regression analysis was used to identify risk and protective factors of the parasites. The risk factors for intestinal parasites were Mayan Ketchi 1.61,2.4, houseworker 2.41.2,4.6, and use of stream water 2.31.2,4.5. The protective factors were drinking treated water 0.40.2,0.9, and wearing shoes 0.60.4,1. Prevention and control programs focusing on significant factors associated with parasite infections could save time and money by targeting populations by risk characteristics.

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