Schistosomiasis

Also known as Bilharzia

Chain of Infection for Schistosomiasis

~ Causative agent- Metazoa

~ Reservior-

~ Portal of Exit- Skin

~ Mode of Transmission- Indirect Transmission

~ Portal of Entry- Skin

~ Susceptible Host-

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What is Schistosomiasis?

Schistosomiasis is a disease cause by parasitic worms. Signs and symptoms include fever, chills, cough, and muscle aches beginning within 1-2 months of infection. Also, a few days after infection, itchy skin or a rash may appear. Most people do not have symptoms at this early phase of this disease. Although schistosomiasis does not occur in the United States, 200 million people worldwide are infected worldwide.

Prognosis

Almost all people who have been treated for Schistosomiasis will improve. There can be complete recovery for those who have not been infected for long, or those without complications. Long term effects include liver damage. For some people, complications can not be reversed and may lead to dead. If a person has developed Malaria, HIV, or Hepatitis, there is a worse prognosis.
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Prevention

To prevent the spread of this disease, people who travel to areas affected by Schistosomiasis should avoid exposure to fresh water that is likely to be contaminated. This means: avoid swimming or wading in fresh water, make sure to only drink safe or sealed, bottled water, and to bathe is safe water.

Is this an emerging or re-emerging disease?

Schistosomiasis is a re-emerging disease. It has re-emerged in eight countries by the end of 2004.