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 .