Schistosomiasis sometimes known as snail fever is a disease that is caused by a parasitic flatworm. This disease mostly affects the urinary tract or intestines. A patient who has contacted this disease would experience abdominal pain and diarrhoea. Blood could be present in stool and urine of the infected person. Schistosomiasis could cause learning difficulties and problems with growth in children.
HOW IS SCHISTOSOMIASIS DIAGNOSED?
Schistosomiasis is diagnosed through detection of parasite eggs in either urine or stool samples. Children with urinary schistosomiasis almost always have blood in their urine that can either be detected by the naked eye if severely infected, or by the use of chemical reagent strips if only a microscopic amount of blood is present.
HOW IS SCHISTOSOMIASIS TREATED?
The most common medication prescribed by a general physician to combat this disease is praziquantel which is recommended by the World Health Organization.
DID YOU KNOW?
If 50% of the villagers are infected with schistosomiasis, treatment is given to everyone as a precaution.