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schistosomiasis


            
             Schistosomiasis, also known as balharzia or snail fever is contracted when a person .
             wades, bathes or comes into contact with frsh water that is contaminated with a certian .
             species of snail infected with the parasites. Schistasoma eggs are deposited when a person .
             with schistosomiasis urinates or deficates into water containing snails of the genus bulinus. .
             After the eggs hatch, the parasites known as cercarae then enter their intermediate hosts, .
             the snails, by penetrating their skin. Once inside the cercarae lose their tails, and become .
             schistosomulae. The schistosomulae then live in pairs of males and females inside the .
             veins, especially the ones surrounding the bladder. Once mature, the parasites can lay .
             arround 150 eggs a day, the eggs then produce more parasites, which exit the snail and .
             can live without a host for arround 48 hours. If the parasites find a human host they then .
             go through a much similar cycle, but instead of living inside the person, the eggs are .
             deposited into the bladder and can be transfered into a fresh water source, where the cycle .
             starts all over again. .
             Within days after becoming infected, a person may develop a rash or itchy skin, .
             and within a few months, fever chills, coughs, and muscle aches may occour. All of the .
             symptoms of schistosomiasis are caused by the eggs, not the worms themselves. Eggs .
             rarely, but sometimes can travel into the brain or spinal cord and cause paralisis or .
             seizures, and can also sometimes cause damage in the liver, lungs, intestines and bladder. .
             Schistosomiasis can be detected through a urine or stool sample. A more recent method of .
             detection is using a blood sample, but this will not work untill six to seven weeks after the .
             parasite is contracted. Drugs for the treatment of schistosomiasis are widely avalible, and .
             are effective and safe.
             Some of the drugs used to treat schistosomiasis include:.
             Praziquantel - effective in the treatment of all forms of schistosomiasis, with virtually no side effects .


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