Echinococcosis has the dog for a permanent and final host, and the other animals, including the human, are intermediate hosts, in which the intermediate stage with formation of echinococcosis cysts is being developed. Echinococcosisis is just a few millimeters long. The eggs are ejected with the dog’s excrements everywhere in the environment. Children are infected by soil when consuming vegetables and ground fruit (strawberries, blackberries, raspberries) which are not properly washed, and the household animals – by grazing. In the children’s or animals` digestive tract, the eggs of echinococcosis are hatched into larvae that are going in the liver throughout the blood flow. In some cases, they can pass without hindrance through the hepatic circulation and go into the lungs, and even quite rarely they could get stuck in other organs, where they will also form echinococcosis cysts. Dogs are infected when they eat the organs of domestic animals which contain echinococcosis cysts.
Symptoms of echinococcosis
They are differently manifested depending on the localization and the size of the cyst. In the course of months and years the disease may not show any symptoms. Allergic rash and itching are possible, and on the other side in the blood count – eosinophilia (although not always). In pulmonary localization one of the first symptoms is cough with expectoration of blood (hemoptoe). In liver localization, enlargement of the organ is established (hepatomegaly), possible encumbrance and pain in the right hypochondrium caused by ectasia of the hepatic capsule. When echinococcosis cyst is located near the biliary tract, it could compress it and cause mechanical jaundice. In the cerebral localization the manifestations are the same as in tumor formation in the brain. Severely complication of echinococcosis is cyst dehiscence with developing of anaphylactic shock reaction. Other complications are suppuration and dispersion into the neighboring organs.
Treatment of echinococcosis
Full healing is possible only with surgical removal of echinococcosis cyst. As an accompanying therapy insecticides such as albendazole or mebendazol are applied. The prevention of echinococcosis requires regular disinfestment of domestic and hunting dogs, veterinary control of the places with domestic animals. Children should not be permitted to play with somebody else’s or homeless dogs. Fruits and vegetables should be consumed only after lavishly cleaning.