Schistosoma infection

What is Schistosoma infection?

Schistosoma infection, also known as bilharzia, is a parasitic infection caused by parasitic flatworm Schistosoma. It is one of the most prevalent diseases in tropical and subtropical regions of the world, primarily affecting developing countries. Schistosomiasis is a chronic condition that can cause long-term damage to the affected organs and even lead to death.


The symptoms of schistosomiasis depend on the type of infection. Common symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches
  • Abdominal pain
  • Coughing and sneezing
  • Itching and rash
  • Diarrhea and bloody stool
  • Blood in the urine

Risk Factors

Schistosomiasis affects more than 200 million people around the world, and anyone is at risk if they live or visit regions where schistosomiasis is common. Those at highest risk include:

  • People living in regions with inadequate sanitation and poor wastewater treatment
  • Children playing in water where schistosome larvae is present
  • Those who work near bodies of water containing Schistosomes, such as fishermen or farmers
  • Travelers who spend large amounts of time in bodies of water in affected areas.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Schistosomiasis can be difficult to diagnose because it often does not produce any symptoms. If symptoms are present, they may be confused with other conditions. A doctor may recommend a series of tests to detect Schistosome eggs in the urine or stool. Treatment for schistosomiasis usually includes a course of antibiotics or other medications.

It is important to note that schistosomiasis is a chronic condition that can cause long-term damage to the affected organs and even lead to death. Treatment can help reduce symptoms, but it cannot cure the disease. Therefore, it is important to take preventive measures to reduce the risk of infection.


The most effective way to prevent Schistosoma infection is to avoid contact with contaminated water. Staying away from stagnant, untreated bodies of water is the best way to protect against schistosomiasis. In addition, the use of protective clothing, such as boots and long pants, and using an insect repellent with DEET can also help reduce the risk of infection.