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Schistosomiasis (Bilharzia)


Schistosomiasis is a type of infection caused by a kind of worm. The worm grows inside of a fresh water snail. These snails live and spread the worms in rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, and canals. The worms can get into your skin when you come in contact with the infected water. This may happen when you swim, take a bath, wash, or wade in the water. When they enter your skin, they may live in the blood for years. Many worms will pass out of the body through the urine or stool. If people pass urine or stool near water that is used to swim, bathe, drink, or wash, the worms can spread to other snails in the water. Then the cycle of infection will keep on. Signs may start a few days after you get the infection. You may have a rash and your skin may itch. After a couple of months, you may have more signs. You may have fever, chills, cough, and muscle aches. Without care, the infection may spread into the other parts of your body.

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