All About Molluscum: How It’s Transmitted and How to Prevent
Mollusca are microscopic organisms found in fresh water. They’re small enough to fit into your finger nail or even smaller than a speck of dust. Most people don’t think twice when they see them floating around in the ocean, lakes, rivers and streams.
However, there are some types of molluscs that are not so friendly. These include the roundworms (flat worms) such as flatworm disease, tapeworms (round worms), whipworms (thread worm) and flukes (muscle attachments). There are other parasites which cause diseases like cholera, typhoid fever and leprosy.
The most common type of mollusk found in our oceans is the clams. Clams are also known as bivalves. They belong to the phylum Mollusca.
Other types of mollusks include oysters, mussels, scallops and crabs.
Clams are crustaceans that live in warm seas. They’re related to lobsters and shrimp. Some species of clams are edible while others aren’t so good for human consumption due to their high acidity level and low nutritional value.
In some places clams are eaten raw and in other places they are used to make clam chowder.
Clams can also be used as pearls. They are still classified as clams before they’re turned into pearls. Most people have pearls as symbols of wealth and success due to their high value in the market.
Others wear them as necklaces or bracelets.
Parasites can be transmitted to humans if ingested or via direct contact with their host. It’s important that you thoroughly cook any clams before putting them in your mouth.
If you’re going to eat clams raw, make sure they come from a trusted source. If you’re unsure of where to get safe clams, check with your local health department. Also, make sure you have good personal hygiene and sanitize anything the clams have touched.
If you are infected with a parasite, consult your doctor immediately. In some cases, even doctors aren’t familiar with certain types of mollusks and their symptoms. Make sure your doctor runs extensive tests to determine the cause of your illness.
The best way to prevent getting sick from mollusks is to practice safe food handling. Refrigerate any meats, poultry, and seafood as soon as you get home from the grocery store. If you won’t be using them within a day or two, freeze them immediately.
Molluscum contagiosum is a common viral infection which causes small, skin colored bumps to appear. Kids get it more than adults do. It’s particularly common in toddlers and young children.
The bumps can appear anywhere on the body but are most common on the arms, legs, and trunk. The bumps aren’t usually itchy or painful. They’re typically more annoying than anything else.
Children are often infected by other kids who have the molluscum contagiosum virus. It’s easily spread via direct skin contact. A child who has molluscum contagiosum may unknowingly spread the virus to other children.
The bumps can take weeks or even months to appear after being exposed to the virus.
There is currently no cure for molluscum contagiosum. Over-the-counter medications and creams don’t work. The bumps typically go away within a year on their own.
Some doctors recommend using an electric needle to speed up the process. Other doctors recommend using cryotherapy to freeze the bumps off.
Treating molluscum contagiosum at home is tricky and often unsuccessful. It’s best to leave this condition up to the professionals.
The best way to prevent molluscum contagiosum is to avoid direct skin contact with anyone who has it. If you do come into contact with someone who has molluscum contagiosum, wash your hands immediately. Avoid sharing clothing, towels, and bed sheets.
If you have more questions on molluscum contagiosum, speak to your doctor or dermatologist.
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Sources & references used in this article:
An update on the clinical management of cutaneous molluscum contagiosum by HP Nguyen, SK Tyring – Skin Therapy Lett, 2014 – academia.edu
Molluscum contagiosum: the importance of early diagnosis and treatment by SK Tyring – American journal of obstetrics and gynecology, 2003 – Elsevier
Treatment of molluscum contagiosum in adult, pediatric, and immunodeficient populations by HP Nguyen, E Franz, KR Stiegel… – Journal of cutaneous …, 2014 – journals.sagepub.com
Understanding US healthcare providers’ practices and experiences with molluscum contagiosum by CM Hughes, IK Damon, MG Reynolds – PLoS One, 2013 – journals.plos.org
Molluscum contagiosum and warts by DL Stulberg, A Galbraith – American family physician, 2003 – aafp.org
Editorial response: it’s all in the measurement: consistent condom use is effective in preventing sexually transmitted infections by DD Celentano – 2004 – journals.lww.com