Amebiasis is an intestinal (bowel) illness caused by a microscopic (tiny) parasite called Entamoeba histolytica, which is spread through human feces (poop). Often there are no symptoms, but, sometimes it causes diarrhea (loose stool/poop), nausea (a feeling of sickness in the stomach), and weight loss. Around 600 cases of this illness are reported each year in New York State.
The majority of people who are infected with this parasite will experience no symptoms. Those who do become sick may experience mild or severe symptoms. The mild form of amebiasis includes nausea (a feeling of sickness in the stomach), diarrhea (loose stool/poop), weight loss, stomach tenderness, and occasional fever. Rarely, the parasite will invade the body beyond the intestines and cause a more serious infection, such as a liver abscess (a collection of pus). The symptoms may appear from a few days to a few months after exposure but usually within two to four weeks.