Find the word definition

Crossword clues for schistosomiasis

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1906, from schistosome (1905), from Modern Latin Schistosoma, from Greek skhistos "divided, cloven" (see schist) + soma "body" (see somato-).


n. (context medicine English) Any of various diseases of humans caused by parasitic blood flukes of the genus ''Schistosoma''


n. an infestation with or a resulting infection caused by a parasite of the genus Schistosoma; common in the tropics and Far East; symptoms depend on the part of the body infected [syn: bilharzia, bilharziasis]


Schistosomiasis, also known as snail fever, is a disease caused by parasitic flatworms called schistosomes. The urinary tract or the intestines may be infected. Signs and symptoms may include abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloody stool, or blood in the urine. Those who have been infected a long time may experience liver damage, kidney failure, infertility, or bladder cancer (squamous cell carcinoma). In children, it may cause poor growth and learning difficulty.

The disease is spread by contact with fresh water contaminated with the parasites. These parasites are released from infected freshwater snails. The disease is especially common among children in developing countries as they are more likely to play in contaminated water. Other high risk groups include farmers, fishermen, and people using unclean water during daily living. It belongs to the group of helminth infections. Diagnosis is by finding eggs of the parasite in a person's urine or stool. It can also be confirmed by finding antibodies against the disease in the blood.

Methods to prevent the disease include improving access to clean water and reducing the number of snails. In areas where the disease is common, the medication praziquantel may be given once a year to the entire group. This is done to decrease the number of people infected and, consequently, the spread of the disease. Praziquantel is also the treatment recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for those who are known to be infected.

Schistosomiasis affected almost 210 million people worldwide as of 2012. An estimated 12,000 to 200,000 people die from it each year. The disease is most commonly found in Africa, as well as Asia and South America. Around 700 million people, in more than 70 countries, live in areas where the disease is common. In tropical countries, schistosomiasis is second only to malaria among parasitic diseases with the greatest economic impact. Schistosomiasis is listed as a neglected tropical disease.

Schistosomiasis (skin symptoms)

The first symptom of starting schistosomiasis (which is also known as "bilharziasis") is a cutaneous condition characterized by mild itching and a papular dermatitis of the feet and other parts after swimming in polluted streams containing cercariae.

Usage examples of "schistosomiasis".

Malaria, tuberculosis, diarrhea, dysentery, dengue fever, and schistosomiasis (bilharzia) are prevalent.

Then there were all the diseases one is vulnerable to in the woods--giardiasis, eastern equine encephalitis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, schistosomiasis, brucellosis, and shigellosis, to offer but a sampling.

Irrigation agriculture and fish farming provide ideal living conditions for the snails carrying schistosomiasis and for flukes that burrow through our skin as we wade through the feces-laden water.