Could This Child Have Schistosomiasis?
Schistosomiasis, also known as Bilharzia, is a waterborne parasitic disease that affects over 230 million people worldwide, accounting for 1.44 million disability-adjusted life years lost. It is caused by trematode parasites of the genus Schistosoma, (S.) which have intricate life cycles requiring human freshwater contact and the presence of a suitable snail vector. Transmission occurs during freshwater contact, as cercariae penetrate human skin and migrate via major blood vessels to final venous plexuses. The lifespan of a schistosome ranges between 3 and 10 years but can live up to 40 years.