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BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 21 September 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d5932

Parasitology 101

The world is full of parasites. They are in our air, water, food,
home, bedding, and clothing. They even live in and on us. Some of these
parasites are harmful; some are harmless; and some are even helpful. How
can we deal with all these parasites, and how should we feel about them?
First, we should maintain proper hygiene and take all necessary
precautions. Second, we should seek medical care when necessary. Third, we
should be philosophical and recognize that life is a complex and never-
ending food chain, in which we are both diner and dinner, predator and
prey. In short, parasites are part of the price that we pay for living.

Competing interests: No competing interests

28 September 2011
Hugh Mann
Eagle Rock, MO 65641 USA