Parasitic Schistosmiasis

Schistosoma Mansoni

Characteristics

Also known as the Blood Fluke, this parasitic worm lives in tropical and equatorial environments. It is found in the blood streams and feeds off of blood. Normal Schistosomiasis measure about 1.1 cm by 0.2 mm. Transmission occurs when people that already suffer from schistosomiasis contaminates freshwater sources that can then penetrate the skin of who ever comes in contact.

Symptoms

Symptoms that you may get if you carry schistosomiasis include fever, chills, lymph node enlargement, liver and spleen enlargement. Initial contact with skin may cause itching and a rash. Schistosomiasis is treatable.

Treatment

Schistosomiasis can be treated by praziquantel (anti-worm medication) which prevents newly hatched eggs from growing or multiplying in your body. It can also be treated by removal of tumor masses. It can be prevented by avoiding swimming or bathing in contaminated water.

History

Schistosomiasis was discovered in 1851 by Theodor Biharz. It was found to be in both Chinese and Egyptian mummies. Nowadays, Schistosomiasis is found most commonly in Africa. This is due to the fact that since Africa is a developing country, people don't have access to clean bathing water. When they bathe in the contaminated water, the parasite is transmitted to them through their skin.