How is amebiasis prevented?
It is important to be careful about food in tropical countries where all forms of travelers’ diarrhea may occur:

  • Avoid foods that may have been cooked some time before. Freshly boiled food (eg, rice and sweet corn) is safe to eat.
  • Avoid salads, shellfish, crab and prawns.
  • Avoid fruit and vegetables that can’t be peeled; fruits that can be peeled, eg, avocado, bananas, citrus fruits and melon, are safe.
  • Forgo ice in drinks and drink only bottled water. Do not use tap water, even for brushing teeth.

If a traveler has spent a long time in tropical countries, it may be advisable for them to have a stool test upon returning, as amoebae may be present without symptoms and may require treatment.

Further information
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/amebiasis/
PubMed Health: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001343/
NY Department of Health: www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/amebiasis/fact_sheet.htm

Last Reviewed: May 2013