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Bilharziasis is a blood fluke (trematode) infection with the adult male and female worms living within the mesenteric veins of the host.
How does one get infected with this disease?
1. When one get in contact with water carrying the causative organism
2. Man-made lakes, dams for irrigation are the main sources of the infection
3. Women doing domestic chores in infested water such as washing clothes are also at risk.
Signs And Symptoms of Bilharzia
1. Coughing excessively
2. Pain in urinating
3. Fever (Katayama fever) and night sweat
4. Anaemia in heavy infestation cases
5. Enlargement of the liver and spleen
6. Blood in urine
7. Blood in urine (haematoria
8. General malaise
9. Tingling sensation
And how can this disease be prevented?
1. Always wear protective clothes when coming in contact with infected water
2. By the introduction of snail eaters to reduce and extinguish cercariae population
3. Proper disposal of urine and faeces so the infected eggs wouldn't have access to fresh waters
4. Another preventive measure is the application of chemicals to kill the snails carrying the cercariae
5. Also improve our irrigation systems to prevent snails by increasing the water speed, clearing weeds and providing concrete linings
6. Boiling and filtering of all water because cercariae can penetrate the mucosa of the mouth
7. Mass examination of the population for early detection and treatment
8. And finally, let's avoid entering into contaminated water bodies containing the snails carrying the cercariae
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