Schistosomiasis is also known as bilharzia. It is a disease caused by parasitic worms. Schistosomiasis is the second most devastating parasitic disease in the United States, second to malaria. The parasites that cause Schistosomiasis are found in freshwater snails. Symptoms of Schistosomiasis are:
• Pain in abdomen, joints and muscles
• Gastrointestinal symptoms like bloating, blood in stool and diarrhea
• Urinary issues like frequent urination
• Chills, fatigue and fever
• Poor appetite
• Skin rash and vaginal bleeding
HOW IS SCHISTOSOMIASIS DIAGNOSED?
An analysis of a stool and urine sample could help in finding the eggs of the parasite. Blood tests could reveal the antibodies needed to fight this disease.
HOW IS SCHISTOSOMIASIS TREATED?
Treatment of Schistosomiasis is done through medication. An oral dosage of praziquantel helps prevent the disease. WHO is taking measures to eradicate the disease completely by educating rural population and eliminating water-dwelling snails
DID YOU KNOW?
Schistosomiasis is an important cause of disease in many parts of the world, most commonly in places with poor sanitation. School-age children who live in these areas are often most at risk because they tend to spend time swimming or bathing in water containing infectious cercariae.