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Parasites are living organisms that rely on another living organism to survive. As scary or unlikely as this may seem, parasites are probably living inside you. In truth, we all have parasites. They can be microscopic, or up to two feet long. Small parasites such as amoeba and giardia are found in our water supplies, whereas larger parasites like pinworms, roundworms, tapeworms and flukes can live in fish, poultry and meat.

Parasites can be found everywhere in our environment; in our air, soil, food and water. Parasites can be transmitted through animals, insects, and sea creatures. You can acquire a parasite from petting a dog, and then grabbing something to eat without having washed your hands, or by being licked by a worm infested pet. They can be passed on to you from anyone who has a parasite. Someone who handles the food you eat and buy might pass on a bug or you might eat produce that is not properly washed. High-risk behaviors include walking barefoot, drinking or even washing your dishes with water from an unclean water source, and eating poor quality or unfresh flesh foods, especially inorganic undercooked animal products. Other ways to encounter parasites include sharing drinks or a kiss, having sexual contact and traveling in other countries or sharing intimate space with someone who has parasites.