Nov 09 2011

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One of my favorite things to do when traveling is to go snorkeling or just go for a swim. I also love to try street foods and let’s just say that I pay for the consequences afterwards… Not sure if it’s the water or how it’s cooked or my stomach just doesn’t agree with the things I eat but this happen every time I travel outside of the U.S. Luckily, it only lasts a few hours and I usually eat more food and drink lots of water.

Anyway, back to my topic…. Schistosomiasis also known as Bilharzia  is a disease caused by parasitic worms. Infection with Schistosoma mansoni, S. haematobium, and S. japonicum causes illness in humans. About 200 million people are infected worldwide. What happens is fresh water becomes contaminated by Schistosoma eggs when infected people urinate or defecate in the water. The eggs hatch and the parasites grow and develop inside snails. Schistosoma parasites can penetrate the skin of persons who are wading, swimming, bathing, or washing in contaminated water. Within several weeks, worms grow inside the blood vessels of the body and produce eggs. Some of these eggs travel to the bladder or intestines and are passed into the urine or stool.

Thinking about it makes me itch! It looks like I won’t be jumping in Lake Malawi after all 🙁

But how can you not resist jumping into the water that contains about 75% of the world’s fresh water fish?

Maybe I can protect myself by wearing a wetsuit…. hmm… We’ll see…

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Permanent link to this article: http://peacecorps.jmephotographie.com/2011/11/schistosomiasis/

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